Pests and diseases of truffles and their tree hosts in Australia


The Australian truffle industry is relatively new with the first truffle produced only 15 years ago but has become an important commodity. Production in 2014 is expected to be 8 tonnes with at least 85% of truffles exported. The lead time from planting to commercial production of truffles and orchard maturity is 1012 years. As production is now significant and increasing, the range of pests and diseases and the extent of associated economic loss is now becoming apparent. This presents an important management challenge to growers across Australia. Pest management in truffle orchards is relevant to both the establishment and ongoing maintenance of host trees. Also the yield and quality of the truffles are affected by invertebrate pests directly as well as indirectly through their contribution to truffle rot. Management of invertebrate pests has been undertaken largely on an ad hoc basis with little input from specialists. Information and advice for specific pests is generally lacking and the identification of many pests especially the invertebrates is rudimentary. This project seeks to systematically identify and catalogue the range of pests and diseases observed in Australian trufferies and to progress the development of an information package to growers on orchard best management practice. This will be achieved by collating data from grower surveys and initially in Western Australia focussed trufferie monitoring. A conduit for growers to have potential pests identified will be made available. Slugs, snails and collembolans, which are already recognised as pests, will be investigated in detail. Information on endemic pests and diseases identified in this project will be crossreferenced with overseas information from a literature review and contact with overseas colleagues. This will be available for the development of a biosecurity manual.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

Western Australian Agriculture Authority, a body corporate established under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007

Objective Summary

To identify the range of pests and diseases present in truffle orchards and truffles in each state, beginning with WA. To produce an information package that improves truffle production through the efficient management of the major pests and diseases of truffles and their host trees. To commence the production of detailed management options of the major pests and diseases for growers incorporating integrated pest management principles. To facilitate the export trade of truffles, crosscheck endemic pests against international phytosanitary/quarantine requirements. This will also provide a foundation for recommendations for future research. To provide a database of endemic pests and diseases for the development of the Australian truffle industry biosecurity manual.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Friday, May 29, 2015

Project Completion Date

Friday, April 19, 2019

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

NEPI-Industry building and connectivity