Rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae) is the most important disease of rice worldwide. To date the pathogen remains exotic to the Rice Pest and Disease Exclusion Zone (RPDEZ) of NSW but does occur in QLD, NT and was recently detected in northern WA. This project will investigate the genetic diversity and the prevalence of the rice blast races present in Australia. Identifying and mapping the distribution of rice blast races across Australia is a critical step to develop strategies for deploying existing resistant rice cultivars and for breeding new ones. This project will also identify which races remain exotic to Australia and will investigate the role wild rice and weeds play in rice blast epidemics. In close collaboration with the NSW DPI Rice breeding program, this project will test the suitability of advanced Australian and International breeding lines and cultivars with known resistance genes against local rice blast races. This work will lead to the establishment of a long term rice blast screening program for Australian rice breeders. This research will also focus on developing measures to mitigate the risks of introducing rice blast into the RPDEZ and moving races between WA, NT and QLD. This work will lead to the development of a protocol to minimize the risk of moving rice blast races between the Australian rice growing regions of Australia via contaminated machinery, equipment and clothing pathways.
University of Western Australia
1. Collaborate with the NSW DPI Rice breeding program (Dr Peter Snell), University of Western Australia (Prof. Martin Barbetti) and other agencies to collect a greater range of M. oryzae isolates from WA, NT and QLD. Some isolates have already been collected by Dr Lanoiselet and are currently available at the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) for this proposed research. 2. Determine the genetic diversity and the prevalence of the rice blast races present in Australia, utilising combined host phenotyping and molecular methodologies, to identify which rice blast resistances against specific races as needed to successfully grow rice in regions currently affected by the disease. 4. Identify host resistances and specify genotypes needed for the rice breeding program to develop (and/or import) rice cultivars tolerant/resistant to the rice blast races present in Australia. 5. Collaborate with the Temperate Rice Research Consortium and IRRI to introduce Pi40, a blastresistance gene that has shown broadspectrum blast resistance in Asia and Africa and start pyramiding multigene resistance into the Australian rice cultivars. 6. Define the role wild rice and grass weeds play in the rice blast epidemics under Australian conditions. 7. Provide rice pathology support to other rice projects to identify other important rice pathogens present in northern Australia and their potential implications on the southern Australian rice area. 8. Assess biosecurity measures needed and develop biosecurity protocols to mitigate risk of moving rice blast races between Australian rice growing regions via the contaminated machinery, equipment and clothing pathway.
Project Start Date
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Project Completion Date
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Journal Articles From Project
Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries
Adoption of R&D
RIC-Farm productivity - crop inputs, crop protection and the farming system