Bio Detection K9 on a farm

May 24, 2022
Bio Detection K9 trains dogs to detect, protect vineyards from viruses

Bio Detection K9 (BDK9) has announced its upcoming detection service for Leafroll and Red Blotch Virus in grapes. Of the 86 different viruses known to infect vineyards, Leafroll 3 and Red Blotch virus are among the most prevalent.

These pathogens can infect all wine, table and rootstock grapes. They occur in grape production areas around the world and are responsible for causing over 70 billion dollars of damage in the United States alone.

To combat these insidious diseases, BDK9 is launching a cost-effective service that can quickly and accurately pinpoint infected vines before the pathogens have a chance to spread. Utilizing proprietary technology, BDK9 develops training aids that have the scent of the target viruses. The result is a harmless substance with a highly specific scent that dogs are systematically trained to detect. This is the same proven methodology BDK9 employs to screen humans for COVID-19 at airports, stadiums and public events worldwide.

“The challenge is like finding a needle in a haystack when trying to detect an infected plant among thousands of potentially threatened vines,” said William Schneider, chief research scientist for BDK9. “But thanks to our completely safe training aid, we can teach canines to accurately detect a viral disease in any tissue, roots, vines, or leaves.”

Traditional vineyard screening methods, such as PCR, are essentially hit or miss because the disease may be confined to a small part of the vine. Plus, these methods take time to process. In contrast, a BDK9 dog can sample an entire plant in seconds with a few sniffs. “Since the technique has been proven to work for dormant trees in the middle of winter, grapevines can be effectively screened in the off season,” said Schneider.

BDK9’s unique technology is effective in many different areas, from humans to agriculture, and the company is proud to be at the forefront of disease detection.

“We’re thrilled about the release of this new, cutting-edge technology and are pleased to offer this to the wine industry,” said Wade Morrell, CEO of BDK9. “Our company continues to set the standard in agriculture disease detection with our effective programs, and we take great pride in the fact that we’re able to take action and truly address these important issues as they arise. ”

Vineyard operators interested in learning more about BDK9’s time and money-saving approach to combat Leafroll 3 and Red Blotch disease are invited to contact [email protected]. For details regarding BDK9 Precision Agriculture services, please visit


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