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Blackberry decline: a major disease of Rubus anglocandicans in south-west Australia

Aghighi, S., Fontanini, L., Yeoh, P.B., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I.ORCID: 0000-0002-7962-219X and Scott, J.K. (2012) Blackberry decline: a major disease of Rubus anglocandicans in south-west Australia. In: Eighteenth Australasian Weeds Conference, 8 - 11 October, Melbourne, Australia pp. 146-149.

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Rubus anglocandicans is the most common species of European blackberry in Western Australia (WA) and one of the few weeds of national significance in the south-west of WA. It is a major weed of conservation areas, forestry and agriculture. Exotic strains of the blackberry rust Phragmidium violaceum have been introduced to WA as biological control agents, but in most areas it seems that they are not effective, possibly due to climate.

In 2007 while monitoring establishment of the released rust strains, unexplained dead and diseased blackberry plants were discovered at two locations, along the Warren River near Pemberton and the Donnelly River near Manjimup in the south-west of WA. The extent of the disease, with noticeable landscape changes due to the removal of dense blackberry infestations, has lead to it being called ‘blackberry decline’. The organism or organisms responsible for killing the blackberry plants are so effective that within a couple of years previously impenetrable stands of well established blackberry have been completely killed for at least several kilometres from the initial sightings of disease symptoms. We outline the history of the ‘decline’ phenomenon on blackberry in the south-west of WA and discuss some of the possible causes.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Weed Society of Victoria
Notes: In: Eldershaw, V. (ed) 2012, Proceedings of the 18th Australasian Weeds Conference, Weed Society of Victoria, pp 146-149
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