Scientists at the CSIRO have studied the footprint of the Gnomoniopsis smithogilvyi fungus that affects chestnuts.
Researchers measured the levels of chemical compounds, called volatiles, released by chestnut trees. They found four biomarker compounds released by infected chestnut burrs and nuts.
In 2016 humidity and moisture forced Australian growers to destroy more than 40 per cent of the national crop due to nut rot.
Chestnut Australia will seek funding for the next step of the research, which is to chemically sort uninfected product and inactivate the fungi.
It has also received $103,400 from the Australian Government’s Farming Together program to investigate better packaging.