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Curtin Professor launches international guide to tackling crop disease

Media release

An international guide to addressing the challenge of diseases in wheat and barley has been launched, with John Curtin Distinguished Professor Richard Oliver editing the go-to reference for the agricultural industry.

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Richard Oliver.

Professor Oliver, from the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM), teamed up with more than 30 international experts to pull together the 368-page Integrated disease management of wheat and barley, which looks at the latest research into fungal diseases of cereals and the challenges of providing integrated disease management strategies to combat them.

Two of the 16 chapters feature input from the CCDM’s cereal disease theme leader Dr Caroline Moffat and project leader, Dr Simon Ellwood.

The CCDM, co-supported by Curtin University and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), is a national research centre focused on reducing the costly economic impact of crop disease in Australia.

Professor Oliver said that with about 20 per cent of global crop production lost to diseases, the research reference guide from Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing would be a valuable tool for cereal scientists across the world.

“After many months of hard work, we now have an up-to-date, comprehensive reference that offers anyone involved in researching and managing wheat and barley the very latest research information,” Professor Oliver said.

“This book not only tells us what we need to know on the research side, but also offers practical advice, tools and management strategies to help us tackle disease and fungicide resistance in two of the world’s most important crops.”

Professor Oliver not only edited the book but also contributed to one of its chapters, looking at the occurrence and avoidance of fungicide resistance in cereal diseases.

Part one of the book focuses on research into leading fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, tan spot, spot type and net type net blotch, septoria, rusts and Fusarium species. Part two looks at the key challenges dealing with these diseases, including fungicide resistance, breeding disease-resistance varieties and improving disease identification.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran said the book was testament to the research knowledge and expertise that is supported and encouraged by Curtin.

“We congratulate Richard, our CCDM researchers Caroline and Simon, and the entire team of contributing experts for this comprehensive reference guide. It will no doubt prove to be a very valuable tool in global research into damaging crop diseases,” Professor Moran said.

The line-up of international authors included researchers and experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands and USA.

The Integrated disease management of wheat and barley is available for purchase in its entirety or as chapters at