Bacterial blight survey to inform breeding efforts

Field pea plant infected with bacterial blight. Source: Pragya KantResearchers are requesting industry to submit field pea samples infected with bacterial blight from all pea growing regions. This survey will help researchers understand the prevalence of the pathovars within the pathogen population.

Bacterial blight disease in field pea is caused by the bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae. There are two pathovars, pv.syringae and pv. Pisi. with isolates of pathovar syringae and pisi Race 3 found in Australian cropping situations. The national field pea breeding program actively breeds for resistance against these two pathovars. Agriculture Victoria has been collecting bacterial blight isolates since the early 1900s with the majority of  the older samples consisting of the pisi races and dominated by Race 3. In the last 5 years however, samples collected from Victoria and SA have only identified the syringae pathovar.

The 2017 season has seen a high incidence of bacterial blight outbreaks and presents an ideal opportunity to add to the current collection and confirm the dominance of pv. syringae. Understanding the make-up of the pathogen population is important in providing direction to the breeding program to facilitate the development of resistant varieties in the future.

Bacterial blight sampling

Cut symptomatic areas of the pea plants and put in a plastic bag. Fill in the survey form and send the form and sample in express post in a cooler bag if possible to:

Pragya Kant
110 Natimuk Rd
Horsham, VIC, 3400

Please label the package clearly with “Please store in the fridge”.

Download the survey form here

All samples will be processed by isolating bacteria from the infected samples and a report will be provided to the submitter. Results of the survey will be published on ExtensionAUS with final results expected to be available by March 2018.

Further Information

Dr Pragya Kant, Agriculture Victoria, Phone: 03 53622318, Mobile: 0418749984, Email:

For further information on Bacterial blight symptoms and management read the ExtensionAUS article Bacterial blight in field peas.

Find this article useful? Tell us what you think by filling out this quick survey.

Share this:

Leave a comment