Crown rot of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is an economically important disease in many cereal growing regions of the world, including Australia and Turkey. The most frequent cause of the disease is infection by either Fusarium pseudograminearum (Fp) or Fusarium culmorum (Fc), with both pathogens causing disease in some southern Australian regions and in the Central Anatolian Plateau in Turkey.
Infection of bread wheat by both species is currently being compared in field trials in both Australia and Turkey (TR). Trials were located at Wellcamp (Qld), Horsham (Vic), Yozgat (TR) and Eskisehir (TR). Plots were inoculated with either Fp, Fc or co-inoculated with both. Twenty bread wheat genotypes were challenged including semi-resistant material from CIMMYT and a range of Australian germplasm. A 15cm section from the base of the primary tiller of each plant was rated for disease severity at crop maturity. Data from this study is providing comparative information on the disease response of the host genotypes to each of the pathogens and and to the mixed inoculum.
Samples from five genotypes were also collected at the post milk development stage of growth. Samples consisted of two 6cm sections from the main stem of each plant which were scored for disease severity and then ground for analysis of fungal DNA using quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays specific to either Fp or Fc. Results from the qPCR are currently being analysed and compared with the corresponding visual rating scores to assess the extent of colonisation of each fungal species in each treatment. Results from these analyses and from the disease assessments at maturity will be presented.