Affected plants wilt, have poor root systems and may develop a basal rot. Photo supplied by Lisa Kelly, Queensland DAF.
Fusarium wilt raises its head in mungbean crops
Fusarium wilt has raised its head in mungbean crops across southern Queensland in recent weeks, prompting calls from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) for growers to submit samples for disease testing.
Fusarium wilt is becoming an increasing problem to mungbean growers across the northern grains region and while it is often found at a low incidence (1-10%) in most paddocks, in recent years it has caused extensive damage (greater than 70% incidence) to several crops.
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) plant pathologist Lisa Kelly said the testing of affected plants would help researchers identify the strain of Fusarium wilt responsible for the infections which is critical for the effective on-going management of the disease.
“Little is currently known of the disease in Australia, including which species are responsible,” Ms Kelly said.
“Two Fusarium species have consistently been isolated from affected plants - F. oxysporum and F. solani - and both species have been associated with the disease in mungbean and other bean or Vigna species outside of Australia.
“Preliminary glasshouse trials suggest both species are involved, although further work is required to confirm this. Future research will investigate the relative levels of resistance to the pathogen/s in the current commercial varieties and advanced breeding lines; alternative hosts; and other integrated disease management strategies.”
Fusarium wilt often occurs in paddocks experiencing stressful conditions, such as excess water. Heavy clay soils are more often affected, particularly on the edge of paddocks and in low lying areas.
Both seedlings and older plants can be affected by the disease. Affected seedlings wilt and their lower roots rot and may develop a basal rot on stems. If infection occurs in older plants, the leaves will wilt and a discolouration of the xylem tissue is evident when the stem is cut longitudinally.
Growers with suspected Fusarium wilt can submit samples to Ms Kelly at DAF 203 Tor St, Toowoomba for diagnosis. Ms Kelly can be contacted on 07 4688 1590 or 0477 747 040, and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on best practice disease management in mungbean crops is available in the GRDC Mungbeans GrowNote, which can be accessed online at www.grdc.com.au/GrowNotes
GRDC Project Code: DAQ00168
GRDC media releases and other media products can be found at www.grdc.com.au/media-news