[10 June/Stuff NZ]

University of Waikato students Claire Voogt and Taylor Farr are investigating how the natural metabolites from algae can be used to treat pathogenic bacteria. They are particularly interested in how it could treat Psa, which cost the kiwifruit industry an estimated $1 billion in exports when it was discovered on a vine in 2010. The pair are studying towards a Master of Science and are this year’s recipients of the Sir Don Llewellyn Fieldays Postgraduate Scholarship where the $22,500 prize will be split between them. The pair will use samples collected from various locations by University of Waikato divers based in Tauranga, prepare extracts, determine their chemical profiles and then test their effects on bacteria to find ones with useful applications for the horticulture industry.