The occurrence of root-infecting fungi and parasitic nematodes in annual Medicago spp. in Western Australian pastures

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    Abstract

    A survey of 30 medic pastures for root-rots was undertaken in Western Australia and pathogenicity tests of representative fungal isolates from roots sampled were conducted to determine the main factors contributing to medic decline and the association between those factors. In particular, the contribution of pathogenic fungi and nematodes to medic root-rot in Western Australia was studied. From a total of 30 000 pieces of root plated, 3836 fungal isolates were obtained and identified at least to genus level. Four hundred and seventy-two representative isolates were tested for in vitro pathogenicity in Medicago sphaerocarpos cv. Orion. Of these, 32 were further tested in the glasshouse. The pathogenicity tests indicated that 56% of isolates were capable of causing significant damage to the root system and it is likely that pathogenic fungi are largely responsible for medic root-rot in the field. In contrast, the number of Pratylenchus spp. in the roots was not found to relate to disease symptoms. It is concluded that soil-borne pathogenic fungi such as species of Pythium, Fusarium, and Phoma contribute significantly to medic pasture decline in Western Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)435-444
    Journal Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
    Volume51
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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