Identifying a non-destructive technique to assess nematode tolerance in wheat variety trials

Whish, Jeremy and Thompson, John ORCID: and Clewett, Tim and Lawrence, John (2012) Identifying a non-destructive technique to assess nematode tolerance in wheat variety trials. In: 16th Australian Agronomy Conference: Capturing Opportunities and Overcoming Obstacles in Australian Agronomy (ASA 2012), 14-18 Oct 2012, Armidale, Australia.


Wheat cultivars and breeding lines are rigorously tested to identify their level of tolerance to nematodes under field and controlled environment conditions. Unfortunately field-testing can often be compromised by poor seasons or inclement weather resulting in incomplete or lost data.

Root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus thornei) decrease root function resulting in reduced uptake of water and nitrogen from the soil and in turn results in poor canopy development. This plant damage as a result of the nematode population can be measured by the use of electro magnetic induction (EM38) for soil water estimations and ceptometry for canopy cover analysis. These tools offer the potential to non-destructively compare different wheat plots growing on soils with known high population of nematodes, thus providing an in-season comparison between varieties.

This technique was used to assess four wheat varieties that ranged in nematode tolerance from intolerant to tolerant. The EM 38 identified the four varieties as having significantly different water use, ten weeks after sowing. The ceptometer identified the most intolerant varieties before symptoms were easily visible to an observer. The combined use of ceptometry and EM38 found differences between the tolerant and intolerant varieties that normally would require final yield comparison.

In the coming years this early screening method will be tested across the cohort of varieties used in the national variety testing program (NVT). This simple non-destructive method of screening varieties will provide additional quantifiable information and reduce the reliance on final yield data.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2012 Australian Society of Agronomy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2016 23:54
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 04:58
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300409 Crop and pasture protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

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