Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

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Ken Flower – Long-term effect of crop rotation and residue on diseases and nematodes

Short bio: Dr Ken Flower lectures and does research in agronomy at UWA. He came to Australia in 2004, from Zimbabwe, and joined the WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA), then moved to UWA in 2008 as a lecturer in agronomy. His main focus in the past has been cropping systems with an emphasis on conservation agriculture. Recently he has also been working and teaching on precision agriculture.

Abstract: A long-term experiment at Cunderdin on red loam soil was started in 2007, to understand the effects of rotation and residue retention on the soil, crop production and disease, under a no-tillage system. The treatments were based on increasing levels of diversity in the rotation from ‘monoculture wheat’, ‘cereal rotation’ (cereal/cereal/cereal), ‘farmer rotation’ (cereal/cereal/break), to a ‘diverse rotation’ (cereal/legume/brassica), and there was also a ‘continuous pasture’ treatment.

The various crop rotations affected soil nematodes and pathogen levels differently after nine years. Fusarium crown rot and Rhizoctonia were favoured by the cereal dominated sequences. Over nine years, Fusarium crown rot DNA in the soil increased most in the cereal rotation and wheat monoculture, it hardly changed in the farmer rotation and pasture and it declined in the diverse rotation.

Differences in level of Rhizoctonia were relatively small, although there was a similar tendency for higher incidence in the cereal rotation and wheat monoculture in dry years.

In contrast, Pythium and Root Lesion Nematode (RLN – Pratylenchus neglectus) were favoured by the more diverse rotations. Levels of RLN increased most in the pasture and diverse rotations, followed by the wheat monoculture and appeared to decrease slightly in the farmer and cereal rotations. This was similar to soil Pythium DNA, where levels also increased in the pasture and diverse rotation and decreased in the cereal and farmer rotations and the wheat monoculture.

Steve Powles Retirement Interview

After 20 years as AHRI Director, Professor Stephen Powles is hanging up his hat and retiring. In this interview, you can learn more about Steve’s life and passions, and learn how AHRI came about.

Todd Gaines Crop Updates 2018 Presentation

If you didn’t get to attend Perth Updates, not to worry, because we filmed Dr Todd Gaines’ presentation at UWA for you to watch!

Todd is an assistant professor in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University, USA. His specialisation is in molecular weed science and functional weed genomics.

In this presentation, Todd talks about the outlook of current and future biotechnology for wheat breeding and gives an excellent explanation on CRISPR-CAS.

Todd Gaines talks about Stephen Powles’ international award

The University of Western Australia’s internationally recognised authority on herbicide resistance in plants, Professor Stephen Powles, has won the American Chemical Society International Award for Research in agrochemicals. Professor Powles is the first Australian to win the award, which is given to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of agrochemicals at the international level, with their vision and sustained contribution having opened new horizons for investigators in their field and beyond.

Todd goes into some more detail about the significance of the award and also briefly explains P450s.

Champion farmer Kit Leake and his farming history

Kit Leake recently presented his family farming story at one of our AHRI Seminars. Check out his story below.

PhD Candidate Huan Lu: research overview on atrazine resistance in wild radish

Huan Lu completed his Bachelor Degree in Biological Science at South China Normal University and began his study into invasive weeds during his Masters. Huan came to Perth to start his PhD in agriculture in September 2016 under the supervision of Professor Stephen Powles, Dr Qin Yu and Dr Heping Han.  His PhD focuses primarily on resistance mechanisms of wild radish to atrazine.

Watch the below video for an overview of his research so far.

PhD Candidate Jinyi Chen: research overview on trifluralin resistance

Jinyi is currently doing her PhD in trifluralin resistance at AHRI. She’s come all the way from China to continue her studies in this field. In this snapshot, she gives an overview of her research so far.