A broad look at charcoal rot in the Northern Region broadacre crops through soil sampling and in-crop surveys


Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid. is a generalist soil-born pathogen, which is endemic to Australia. The pathogen has a broad host-range of both monocot and dicot plant species which include numerous weed and crop plant species (1, 2). The disease is most commonly identified with summer crops, e.g. soybean, sorghum, sunflower, maize and mungbean (3) and occurs most often when hot, dry conditions occur during the growing season. Current estimates predict that north-eastern Australia will become hotter and dryer as a result of climate change (4, 5). Thus, it is likely that conditions favouring the development of this disease will become more common in the future. However, to date, no work has been done to determine the extent of the pathogen’s presence in Australian soils, in-paddock spatial variability, or the occurrence of the disease as correlated with pathogen presence and population levels. In this paper, we present findings from soil sampling and end-of-season disease assessments in sorghum paddocks across northern New South Wales (NNSW), south eastern Queensland (SEQ) and central Queensland (CQ) during the 201617 and 201718 summer cropping seasons.

Adelaide, SA, AUS