Agriculture and Food Systems - Theses

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    Studies on the ecology and control of some important plant parasitic nematodes in Victoria
    Brown, R. H (1940-) ( 1986)
    Since 1965 I have been employed as a nematologist by the Victorian Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, based at the Plant Research Institute, Burnley. My major responsibilities have included: (1) From 1965-1975, funded exclusively by the Wheat Industry, to conduct research on the biology and ecology of the cereal cyst nematode (Heterodera avenae Woll.), and to advise on methods for controlling the disease it causes in wheat and other cereals. (2) From 1975, in addition to research on H. avenae, to conduct research on nematode diseases of other agricultural and horticultural crops in Victoria. My research has always been directed at achieving methods of control which are both practical, and economic to apply. Prior to 1965, cereal cyst nematode was recognised as a major cause of disease in cereals in the southern wheatbelt of Australia; its distribution was known to be related to well structured soils; knowledge of its biology and ecology under Australian conditions was limited; and, crop rotation was the only recommended method of control. There were no sources of resistance suitable for use in breeding programs; the existence of pathotypes was unknown; and, the extent and magnitude of yield losses had not been determined. My research has culminated in the adoption by cereal growers, of several new control strategies, and the results have lead to the establishment of a new pesticide market (valued at millions of dollars per year), and economic benefits from the use of nematicides are already being obtained by rural communities in Victoria and South Australia. The results of this, and other research on various aspects of the biology and control of nematodes causing disease in grapevines, citrus, pastures, vegetable crops, ornamentals, etc. are presented in the papers which follow.