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Latest on Pulses – 2015 GRDC Update papers

Keep up with the latest research information on Pulse diseases including ascochyta, phytophthora, root lesion nematode and viruses. The following update papers were presented at the GRDC Updates across Australia in February and March 2015. There were no papers presented in the Western region.

Click the paper titles to view the full papers.


Diseases of pulse crops in 2014

By Rohan Kimber and Jenny Davidson (SARDI), Matthew Rodda and Mohammad Aftab (Department of Economic Development) and Jeff Paull (University of Adelaide). Presented at Adelaide, February 2015.

  • A virulent strain of Ascochyta lentis able to infect the previously resistant cultivar Nipper is widespread across South Australia and Victoria. This cultivar should be managed similar to Nugget for ascochyta blight.
  • A virulent strain of Ascochyta fabae able to infect PBA Rana and Farah is common in the lower and mid north of South Australia. These crops will require foliar fungicides when grown in these regions.
  • Geographical effects on Ascochyta fabae resistance, that represent ‘point of origin’ of resistant faba bean accessions, illustrate the need for sourcing diverse germplasm.
  • Low infection rate from Beet Western Yellows Virus (syn: Turnip Yellows Virus) inferred this virus had minimal impact on pulse crops in 2014.
  • Crop topping timing and delayed harvest timing can reduce faba bean seed quality.


Chickpea ascochyta – is the pathogen changing and what are the implications for management

By Kevin Moore and Kristy Hobson (NSW DP), Prabhakaran Sambasivam and Rebecca Ford (University of Melbourne), Steve Harden, Paul Nash, Gail Chiplin and Sean Bithell (NSW DPI). Presented at Coonabarabran, Warren and Goondiwindi in February-March, 2015.

  • Ascochyta blight occurred in more chickpea crops (62 of 332 crop inspections) in 2014 than in 2012 and 2013 combined. Most infected crops were PBA HatTrick but PBA HatTrick was also the most commonly grown variety.
  • Inoculum for the 2014 Ascochyta infections resulted from dry summer (2012/2013 and 2013/14) conditions contributing to slow stubble breakdown and infection of volunteers.
  • Work to determine if the unexpected number of 2014 infections, especially on PBA HatTrick, is related to the changes in the Ascochyta fungus has started. Initial results show that the population varies both in ability to cause disease (pathogenicity) and time to develop fruiting bodies (latent period).
  • Localities where Ascochyta was found on any variety in 2014 are considered high risk for 2015 crops and growers are advised to apply a preventative fungicide before the first post-emergent rain event to all varieties with less resistance than PBA HatTrick, PBA HatTrick will also need to be sprayed.

Phytophthora in chickpea varieties – resistance rankings and yield loss

By Kevin Moore (DPI NSW), Lisa Kelly(DAFF QLD), Mal Ryley(USQ), Kristy Hobson, Ted Knights, Steve Harden (DPI NSW), Willy Martin and Kris King (DAFF QLD), Paul Nash, Gail Chiplin and Sean Bithell (DPI NSW). Presented at Coonabarabran, Warren and Goondiwindi in February-March, 2015.

  • Even in a dry season, substantial yield losses from Phytopthora root rot (PRR) can occur in susceptible varieties such as PBA Boundary.
  • Do not grow PBA Boundary if you suspect a PRR risk.
  • Avoid paddocks with a history of lucerne, medics or chickpea PRR.
  • There is no yield penalty in the absence of PRR associated with varieties with improved resistance to PRR.

Effect of chickpea ascochyta on yield of current varieties and advanced breeding lines

By Kevin Moore, Kristy Hobson, Steve Harden, Paul Nash, Gail Chiplin and Sean Bithell (NSW DPI). Presented at Coonabarabran, Warren and Goondiwindi in February-March, 2015.

  • Under medium to high disease pressure, Ascochyta can be successfully and economically managed on susceptible varieties such as Kyabra and Jimbour.
  • However, Ascochyta management is easier and more cost effective on varieties with improved resistance eg PBA HatTrick, PBA Boundary.
  • The Ascochyta resistance of the advanced breeding lines CICA0912 and CICA1007 has been improved to the point that in a typical average rainfall to dry season neither will require fungicide sprays.

Chickpea ascochyta – evidence that varieties do differ in susceptibility of pods

By Kevin Moore, Kristy Hobson, Steve Harden, Paul Nash, Gail Chiplin and Sean Bithell (NSW DPI). Presented at Coonabarabran, Warren and Goondiwindi in February-March, 2015.

  • The susceptibility of pods to Ascochyta Blight is important as infection can cause pod abortion, blemish or kill seed, infected seed is also an inoculum source.
  • Field trial results indicate that the varietal resistance of chickpea pods are similar to that of vegetative tissue.

A new DNA tool to detect chickpea Phytophthora in paddocks

By Sean Bithell, Kevin Moore, Kristy Hobson and Steve Harden (NSW DPI) and Alan McKay (SARDI). Presented at Coonabarabran and Goondiwindi in February-March, 2015.

  • Knowledge of Phytophthora medicaginis (Pm) DNA concentration in soil can assist Phytophthora root rot (PRR) management.
  • In a field trial, treatments with 0 and 100 oospores/plant) resulted in low Pm DNA concentrations and had significantly less disease and significantly higher yields than treatments with higher oospore concentrations.
  • Similar PRR disease levels and yield losses came from medium to high Pm soil inoculum concentrations for the Pm susceptible variety Sonali.
  • The Pm DNA test is capable of identifying Pm in soil samples from growers paddocks.
  • Pm DNA results and Pm isolation results agreed for most paddock samples with 82% of positive and 97% of negative (97%) being consistent. However, results for three samples indicate that further work is required to address some issues including subsampling effects.
  • Note: the SARDI test for Phytophthora medicaginis is under development and is not yet available commercially.

Impact of crop varieties on RLN multiplication

By Brendan Burton (Northern Grower Alliance). Presented at Goondiwindi, March 2015.

  • Know your enemy – soil test to determine whether Root lesion nematode (RLN) are an issue and which species are present
  • Select wheat varieties with high tolerance ratings to minimise yield losses in RLN infected paddocks
  • To manage RLN populations, it is important to increase the frequency of RLN resistant crops in the rotation
  • Multiple resistant crops in a rotation will be necessary for long term management of RLN populations
  • There are consistent varietal differences in Pt resistance within wheat and chickpea varieties
  • Avoid crops or varieties that allow the build-up of large populations of RLN in infected paddocks
  • Monitor the impact of your rotation
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