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Sclerotinia stem rot

Louise Thatcher, Jonathan Anderson, Lars Kamphuis

After Blackleg (Leptosphaeria maculans), Sclerotinia stem rot (SSR, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) has the greatest potential for disease severity in Australia, with annual predicted losses of at least $40 million if not controlled. Since 2013/14 SSR has become a major industry concern in Australian oilseed and pulse production.  This is due to the pathogen’s broad host range, limited host resistance in commercial cultivars, difficulties and cost in chemical control, and the ability of the pathogen to persist in soil for years.  New approaches to disease control are critical.

Our team is working towards the identification and delivery of novel sources of genetic resistance or tolerance.  These are derived from diverse wild populations or mutant populations (TILLING) developed within CSIRO Canberra and Perth.

Thatcher, L.F., Myers, C.A., Pain, N. et al., A Sclerotinia disease assay for screening flowering canola plants in controlled environmentsAustralasian Plant Pathology, 2017. 46: 333.

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