Survey of lucerne (Medicago sativa) root damage and pathogen occurrence in lucerne roots and soils collected from south-east South Australia

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This survey was undertaken as part of the project "Introgression of tolerance to Pratylenchus neglectus into annual medics".

The project looked at the root lesion nematode (RLN) Pratylenchus neglectus, which is a root damaging pathogen with an extremely wide host range including all major legume and cereal crops. Lack of resistance or tolerance in crop species causes considerable yield losses that can be worsened in low rainfall conditions as the affected root system is unable to use water efficiently. The survey undertaken was of south-east South Australian lucerne paddocks that had been sown for seed production to assess the impact of soil borne disease. Root damage was found to be common on young lucerne plants. Several fungal pathogens and the nematode Pratylenchus neglectus were short listed as significant in explaining variation in root damage.

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