Predicting the problem

SARDI"s Dr Alan McKay and his Adelaide based team have developed a DNA soil test for crown rot. The test is now commercially available (PreDicta B) for both species of crown rot fungi.

Samples for the test are taken within the stubble row, so they include stubble fragments, crown rot hyphae and fungal spores. The DNA soil test provides growers with a risk guide for crown rot that will help with correct choice of paddock, variety or break crop.

The team is developing a DNA stubble test for research purposes.

The University of New England team, based in Armidale and led by Dr David Backhouse, is drawing together the research results on how crown rot is affected by environment and management practices, to produce a simple risk prediction system.

By developing inoculum bioassays and methods of detecting crown rot in plant tissue this team identified that for infection to occur the growing plant must come into contact with infested stubble fragments. Now the team is working on the completion of a prototype rules-based decision support system and modelling environmental effects on the mortality of crown rot in residues.

GRDC Research Code DAS00034, UNE62
For more information: Dr Alan McKay, 08 8303 9375,;
Dr David Backhouse, 02 6773 2341,