Quick, what's that nematode?

A COMPREHENSIVE CD-ROM and small web-site library of Australian plant parasitic nematodes being developed at the SA Research and Development Institute, with support from growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC, should help improve the identification and management of these pests.

In compiling the CD-ROM and web-site library, researchers are cataloguing all nematodes found in Australian cropping, pasture, horticultural, viticultural and sugar production sectors as well as potential plant-parasitic nematode threats from other countries. Plant-parasitic nematodes currently cost our broadacre, horticultural and viticultural cropping industries an estimated $300-450 million each year.

The CD-ROM and web site will offer quick access to nematode pest information including distribution, host range, host symptoms, life cycle, available control methods and possible quarantine problems.

Accompanying the electronic version will be a new version of the book Plant Nematodes of Australia. The latest edition will detail the distribution of the 57 species of plant-parasitic nematodes known to attack grain crops in Australia. Of these, cereal cyst, root lesion and root knot nematodes are considered the most economically important for the grain and horticultural industries. Growers will be asked for feedback on the prototype in 2002, and the final product is expected to be released in mid-2003.

Program 3 Contact: Dr Sharyn Taylor 08 8303 9381; Dr Jackie Nobbs 08 8303 9626 email taylor.sharyn@saugOy.s3.gov.au; nobbs.jackie@saugov.sa.goy.au