Nematode resistance ratings updated for wheat

Author: Sarah Jeffery | Date: 02 May 2014

A recently released update of wheat variety resistance ratings to the damaging root lesion nematode species Pratylenchus thornei (P. thornei) may hold important implications for growers’ variety selection this winter.

P. thornei is one of the northern region’s major wheat diseases and varietal selection is a critical management tool for both yields under P. thornei pressure (Tolerance) and P. thornei population build-up (Resistance).

The recent update means that ratings may vary from those in the 2014 sowing guides. Growers with P. thornei management concerns are urged to grow tolerant and moderately resistant varieties (highlighted green in the update) like Suntop and Gauntlet or tolerant and moderately susceptible varieties like EGA Gregory, Lancer, EGA Wylie or Sunguard. These varieties will minimize yield losses but also help to limit the build-up of nematode populations.

Root-lesion nematodes are present in approximately 70% of fields in the northern grain belt and can slash yields by up to 50% in wheat and 20% in chickpeas.

All major winter crops, wheat, barley and chickpeas, are susceptible to the root-lesion nematode species P. thornei and encourage the proliferation of nematode populations.

Crop rotation and varietal choice are the key tools in managing P. thornei populations while maintaining yield and profitability according to Northern Grower Alliance (NGA) chief executive officer Richard Daniel.

“Field trials have frequently shown that more susceptible varieties leave up to five times’ higher P. thornei populations than more resistant options,” he said.

“Reducing P. thornei populations can be difficult and slow and therefore it is vital to avoid growing susceptible and intolerant varieties (highlighted in red in the update) where P. thornei is an issue.”

To access the one page flyer detailing the latest varietal Tolerance and Resistance ratings to P. thornei, visit

Contact Details

Richard Daniel
Northern Grower Alliance CEO
0428 657782

Jason Sheedy
07 46398846

GRDC Project Code NGA0003

Region North, South, West