Integrated disease management for new diseases of asparagus (VX02003)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
Three new asparagus diseases – asparagus rust, Phomopsis stem blight and asparagus anthracnose – were first detected in Queensland, Australia, in 2000. They were caused by fungal pathogens. These diseases had previously not been recorded on asparagus in either Australia or New Zealand.
Asparagus rust had spread to other states in Australia, including Victoria and New South Wales, but not Western Australia. Rust was most likely to spread widely because of its airborne urediniospores. Phomopsis stem blight and anthracnose could be spread through trade of contaminated asparagus seeds, crowns and spears. The potential importance of asparagus anthracnose outside of northern Australia remained low.
Both asparagus rust and stem blight caused significant crop losses. Growers from both countries expressed concern about the damaging effects of these diseases and requested an investigation to determine the extent and severity of infections in asparagus crops in Queensland since the first record of the diseases.
Collaborative research between the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland (DPI&F) and the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research investigated the spread of these diseases, pathogen identification, fungicide evaluation, resistant varieties, disease management, and postharvest control of the diseases.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited).
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