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Ongoing project

Integrated disease management of black core rot in citrus (CT20008)

Key research provider: The University of Queensland

What’s it all about?

This investment is developing integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) tools for the effective management of citrus black core rot. Black core rot (Alternaria spp.) is a significant and emerging issue in southern citrus growing areas; the internal rot and bitter flavours of infected fruit are often undetected until they reach the kitchen bench or the juicing plant.

Increased understanding of the disease, its lifecycle and underlying epidemiological factors will help to identify potential management options for citrus black core rot, which can be tested and validate prior to their inclusion into the current citrus IPDM program.

In the initial stages of the project, the research team will be:

  1. Establishing the occurrence and impact of black core rot in citrus through field surveys, interviews with growers and others involved in the citrus supply chain
  2. Identifying the Alternaria species causing black core rot
  3. Identifying sources of inoculum and timing of infections through targeted field trials
  4. Establishing the effectiveness and limitations of current practices that are used
  5. Addressing the gaps in knowledge of the disease cycle and pathogen biology of citrus black core rot and investigating the underlying biological factors affecting disease control.

After these investigations have taken place, the research team will:

  1. Leverage the improved understanding of the epidemiology and disease cycle to test new disease management options involving integration of existing and new chemical, cultural and biological tools to reduce the impact of black core rot in citrus.
  2. Explore choices and timings of chemical and other control options for citrus black core rot that can be integrated into an IPDM program.
  3. Collaborate with existing and past projects, national and international networks to gather, communicate and extend new knowledge and practices from the project that will maximise adoption and commercial benefit across the citrus industry.

Throughout the project, a young post graduate student will be trained in all aspects of field pathology to increase the future research capability of the Australian citrus industry.

Related levy funds

This project is funded through the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund using the citrus R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government