Program 4: Towards effective genetic and sustainable management of Ascochyta blight of Chickpea - Accurate, effective, cheaper and rapid high-throughput method for qualitative and quantitative evaluation for AB genetic resistance.
Ascochyta blight is the greatest disease threat to the Australian chickpea industry and can result in complete crop loss. With limited genetic options, management is reliant on multiple fungicide applications. To reduce reliance on chemical control, improve profitability and reduce risk, improved genetic resistance is highly desirable. However, a significant impediment to the identification of new sources of resistance and subsequent development of cultivars with improved genetic resistance is access to high capacity and cost-effective screening capability in Australia.
This project will develop a high throughput field and controlled environment phenotyping facility to provide a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of genetic resistance for chickpea ascochyta blight. There will be significant investment in irrigation infrastructure and evaluation of field and glasshouse methods to develop accurate and efficient screening methodologies. These cost effective and high capacity phenotyping services will be provided to researchers, pre-breeders and breeders as a fee-for-service activity. There will be an annual increase in the capacity to ensure that resistance breeding activities are not limited by a lack of phenotyping capacity. At the conclusion of the project the phenotyping capability will be available to breeders and the research community on a fee-for-service basis.
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