A number of important Fusarium diseases occur in grain sorghum and mungbean crops throughout eastern Australia, often resulting in serious losses in crop yields and grain quality. Fusarium stalk rot can cause significant losses in grain sorghum crops in eastern Australia, particularly when the disease results in lodged stalks. Fusarium moniliforme sensu lato has historically been reported to be responsible for Fusarium stalk rot, however a recent revision of the taxa has segregated it into a number of species. The first part of this study identifies the Fusarium species associated with Fusarium stalk rot and head blight in eastern Australia. A total of 523 Fusarium isolates were collected from eastern Australia during the 2009-2011 cropping seasons from diseased sorghum plants. Nine Fusarium species were isolated from symptomatic tissues and pathogenicity tests confirmed that F. andiyazi and F. thapsinum were the dominant stalk pathogens, whilst F. thapsinum and species within the F. incarnatum-F. equiseti species complex were most frequently associated with head blight.
Mungbean production has increased in Australia in recent years, and with that increase there has also been a reported increase in incidence and severity of Fusarium wilt. The second part of this study identified the species associated with Fusarium wilt of mungbean in Queensland. A total of 114 Fusarium isolates were collected from diseased mungbean plants throughout Queensland during the 2011-16 cropping seasons. A total of eight Fusarium species were recovered from symptomatic tissues. Species within the F. oxysporum and F. solani species complexes were most frequently recovered. The pathogenicity of species within the F. oxysporum and F. solani species complexes on mungbean was confirmed.
The findings in this study provide valuable insight into the diversity and abundance of Fusarium species associated with two important summer field crops in eastern Australia.