Meanwhile in the west

Helen Cole observes the inhibition of a test fungus by a strain of the take-all fungus on an agar plate.

Another interesting take on take-all

There seems to be a secret to unlock in the relationship between the take-all fungus and ryegrass. Certain strains of the take-all fungus isolated from ryegrass promote growth of the grass, yet kill wheat.

One strain (R8) even promotes the growth of wheat for a brief period before killing it.

Siva Sivasithamparam at the University of Western Australia, with funding from growers through the GRDC, is trying to decipher how ryegrass resists the lethal effects of the fungus and how the fungus actually promotes growth.

The R8 strain acts strongly against other strains of take-all as well as a range of unrelated fungi. Dr Sivasithamparam hopes that understanding this potent antibiotic can open an avenue to a useful fungicide for wheat.

CONTACT: Dr K (Siva) Sivasithamparam 09 380 2497