Agriculture Victoria is calling on agronomists to send in diseased plant samples for diagnostics as part of new initiative targeting pulse diseases.
With an increase in pulse pathology expertise, Agriculture Victoria is contributing to a national surveillance program to determine the detection and spread of diseases.
Disease samples being sought include ascochyta blight or sclerotinia from chickpeas, lentils and faba beans, and bacterial blight in field peas.
Agriculture Victoria Research scientist Dr Josh Fanning said the pulse disease surveillance program was stepping up its surveillance as part of an initiative being conducted in partnership with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and other pulse pathologists across Australia.
“Pulse pathologists across Australia are currently working with the GRDC to keep variety ratings up to date,” he said.
“This involves monitoring diseases for changes in spread and virulence.
“To better achieve this, we are asking for diseased pulse samples to be sent in for assessment.”
Samples submitted for assessment will be used in pre-breeding and breeding disease trials to help keep variety disease ratings up-to-date and will enable pulse breeders to develop and release more resistant varieties.
Agriculture Victoria Research scientist Dr Pragya Kant is also looking for samples of bacterial blight in field peas.
Dr Kant said there had been a shift in the pathotype that causes bacterial blight in peas and it was important to collect as many samples as possible for assessment.
“Unlike ascochyta blight, which can be controlled using resistant varieties, crop rotation and in- season fungicides, there are no in-season control options for bacterial blight in field peas,” she said.
“Our research is looking to remedy this for growers.
Source: Agriculture Victoria