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Identification and bioassay of disease suppressive soils in Western Australia

Hüberli, D., Miyan, S., Connor, M. and MacLeod, B. (2013) Identification and bioassay of disease suppressive soils in Western Australia. In: 19th Australasian Plany Pathology Conference (APPS 2013), 25 - 28 November, Auckland, New Zealand.


Previous surveys of cereal root disease incidence and severity in Western Australia conducted in the early 1980’s and 2006-2008 showed that there has not been a reduction in the incidence or severity of root diseases during the past 25 years. This study was carried out to identify sites which are suppressive for one or more wheat root diseases. Cereal roots were collected from this region and assessed for Rhizoctonia solanai (AG8), Fusarium pseudograminearum (fusarium crown rot), Gaumanomyces graminis var. tritici (take-all) and Pratylenchus neglectus (root lesion nematodes; RLN) at anthesis in 2010, 2011 and 2012. We identified 16 paddocks for rhizoctonia, nine for take-all, 22 for crown rot and six for RLN as potentially suppressive in these years. Soil from each potentially suppressive site was amended with different rates of carbohydrate and inoculated with the pathogen being bio assayed (rhizoctonia or take-all) along with a positive control from Esperance, WA and placed in a growth cabinet for two weeks at 10°C with a 12 h light/dark regime. Pots were sown with wheat seeds and harvested after four weeks of growth and roots were assessed for disease incidence and severity. Only the positive control was recorded to be highly suppressive with disease incidence being significantly reduced when 0.5 g of carbohydrate was added in 2010 soils. An additional two paddocks were identified as highly suppressive in the 2012 bioassay. No sites have been identified through bioassays as being suppressive for take-all in 2012.

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