[ASC-media] Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture media release: "EXIT MOULD"

Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed May 5 19:40:28 EST 2004



Botrytis Grey Mould (BGM) is under the spotlight following the return of
Australian scientists from Bangladesh, where they viewed BGM screening
nurseries and integrated management solutions for the chickpea disease
Bill MacLeod of the Department of Agriculture and Centre for Legumes in
Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) Director Kadambot Siddique inspected the 
international project and collected BGM samples for molecular testing in
Although the warm, humid climate of Bangladesh is a hemisphere away from the
growing regions of Australia, both countries are eager to address BGM.
“A potentially lucrative export crop and an excellent alternative to lupins
in rotation in Australia, chickpea is also a low cost protein and
carbohydrate source in Bangladesh,” Professor Siddique said.
“BGM has all but wiped out chickpea crops in Bangladesh and sporadic
outbreaks in Australia showed it can cut yields by 10 to 90 per cent and
diminish seed quality.”
With field experiments for BGM in Australia likely to be hindered by the
presence of Ascochyta blight, a disease not found in Bangladesh, CLIMA is
basing its BGM project on the sub-continent.
While agronomic strategies are being trialled to formalise a management
system for BGM when it exists, genetic sources of BGM resistance are being
“Nearly 500 chickpea breeding lines were assembled for field screening in
BGM disease nurseries at Jessore and Ishurdi in Bangladesh, with 422 lines
contributed by Australian breeding programs,” Professor Siddique said.
“The natural disease pressure in Bangladesh helped establish the best
prospects for incorporating resistance to BGM in breeding programs, with
preliminary data showing useful resistance within germplasm already tested
as part of the project.”
Trials and demonstrations in Bangladeshi farmer fields demonstrated crop
management factors that could reduce BGM severity: using disease-free seed
and a less susceptible genotype; maintaining open crop canopies, which are
less susceptible to BGM, by delaying sowing, lowering seed rates, planting
in spaced rows, intercropping, mixing cropping and trimming the canopy; and
treating seed or infected canopies with fungicides.
“Future disease screening will continue in Bangladesh using new breeding and
parental lines,” Professor Siddique said.
Best bet disease management packages will then be further developed and
demonstrated to farmers in Bangladesh and Australia.
Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
(ACIAR), the project has international support from the International Crops
Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India and the Bangladesh
Agricultural Research Institute (BARI).



Authorised by CLIMA and issued on its behalf by Brendon Cant & Associates
Tel 08 9385 7779.

Bill McLeod, Tel 08 6488 2172
Professor Kadambot Siddique, Tel 08 6488 7012, Mobile 0411 155 396


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