Kayla and Wonga on anthracnose-resistance fast track

Following a recent outbreak of anthracnose in narrow-leaf lupins in the northern WA agricultural area, agronomists warned growers to remain vigilant in their lupin crop monitoring program.

However, the good news is that Agriculture WA (AgWA) breeding programs are well on their way to completing crosses which are the basis of new lupin varieties unaffected by the disease.

With emergency support from growers through the GRDC Board, scientists started tests in New Zealand last summer which found anthracnose resistance in Australian breed lines.

AgWA senior plant breeder Wallace Cowling said the breeding program has moved to the point where selection of resistant lines could start this December - two years sooner than normal. These would undergo glasshouse trials and be ready for testing in the field in 1999.

He said Kalya and Wonga had shown the most resistance and had been used in about 60 crosses.

Subprogram 2.4.3 Contact: Dr Wallace Cowling 08 9368 3528