- Evolutionary ecology research
- Horticultural research
- Plant diversity research
- Plant pathology research
- Australian fungi
- Centre for Plant Conservation 2012-2013
- Fungal leaf spot on eucalypts
- Fusarium oxysporum
- Fusarium wilt
- Fusarium workshops
- Leaf spot fungi systematics
- Phytophthora Dieback
- Plant Pathology and Mycology 2012-2013
- Plant Pathology and Mycology 2011-2012
- Plant Pathology and Mycology 2010-2011
- Plant Pathology and Mycology 2009-2010
- Plant Pathology and Mycology 2008-2009
- Herbarium & resources
- Scientific publications
Plant Pathology & Mycology 2008-2009
On-going research in the plant pathology and mycology section includes documenting and describing foliar diseases of members of the Proteaceae and Myrtaceae, describing new species of the fungal genus Fusarium, understanding the biogeography and evolution of soil inhabiting and endophytic species of Fusarium, studying movement and distribution of economically significant Fusarium pathogens and investigating disease management strategies for a range of diseases incited by the water mould Phytophthora, including root rot of Wollemi Pine.
Members of the Fusarium oxysporum species complex are some of the most economically significant soil borne plant pathogens, causing crop disease epidemics in over 150 plant species worldwide. F. oxysporum f.sp. vanillae causes vanilla stem and root rot, a devastating disease and a major constraint to vanilla cultivation in vanilla producing countries, including Indonesia.
The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust’s pathology and mycology team have been an integral part of an international development program in building plant disease diagnostic and research capacity in North Sulawesi, Indonesia since 2001. With the foundational work of establishing laboratory and greenhouse facilities, conducting disease surveys and facilitating training workshops completed in the initial part of the program, in recent years the team have been focussing on research related to key diseases, one of which is vanilla stem and root rot.
Understanding the origins, movement and variations of the pathogen population is essential in ultimately establishing sustainable long term disease management strategies. To facilitate population analysis of this pathogen, we obtained a large collection of F. oxysporum f.sp. vanillae isolates, representing subpopulations of this pathogen from major vanilla growing regions throughout Indonesia.
We demonstrated that the vanilla stem and root rot pathogen in Indonesia evolved from multiple unrelated lineages. It was most probably brought into Indonesia together with the introduction of the host plant or the various germplasms imported over the years. We also have evidence to suggest that a secondary source of the pathogen could be from the surrounding region or even evolved from within Indonesia.