Managing crop diseases – Improving crown rot resistance in durum (USQ00013)
Principle leader/co-ordinator: Dr Anke Martin
Length of project: 01/06/2013 to 30/06/2018
Project objectives: The increase and stabilization of grower profitability by reduction of economic losses associated with the control of crown rot
Australia is an important producer of durum or pasta wheat and currently grows 300,000-500,000 tonnes annually. Annual yield losses in all wheats due to crown rot (CR) disease have been estimated to be around $79 million with potential losses of up to $434 million in a single season. Current durum wheats are very susceptible to CR disease and to date durum lines with high resistance to this disease have not been identified. CR disease severity is exacerbated under water stress conditions, particularly when this occurs late in the growing season. With the Australian grain growing regions forecast to become hotter and drier due to global warming, yield losses due to CR disease are expected to increase. The development of varieties with improved CR resistance is pivotal to the expansion of the Australian durum industry.
Bread and wild tetraploid wheats carrying a level of resistance or tolerance to crown rot disease have been identified. This project aims to transfer improved reaction to crown rot from these sources into high yielding commercial durum varieties, thus increasing returns to rural producers.
Durum crown rot field data (updated March 2018)