Waite Main Building
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
Telephone: +61 8 8303 7222
Facsimile: +61 8 8303 7109
Fungal & Bacterial Plant Pathology
The fungal and bacterial plant pathology group is led by Professor Eileen Scott.
Most of us are located on the first floor of the Waite Main Building. The group conducts research on a range of plant diseases and microorganisms of importance in Australian agriculture and natural ecosystems.
Since 1991, 36 PhD students and 26 honours students have successfully completed their degrees as part of this group.
Dr Kerrie Davies, nematologist and visiting research fellow, is affiliated with the group. We collaborate with researchers in SARDI on Waite Campus as well as national and international collaborations.
Major Research Themes
- Diagnosis, epidemiology and management of diseases of horticultural crops, pulses and Australian native plants
- Effects of fungal diseases on grape and wine quality
Eileen’s group currently comprises postdoctoral fellows, PhD, masters and Honours students, and has received funding from the ARC, rural industry research and development corporations, industry groups, and state and local government organisations.
Current Research Group Members
Research on objective measures for grape powdery mildew is underway to improve methods for assessing severity of contamination of grapes. Powdery mildew on grapes at harvest can cause off flavours and aromas in wine. In previous research we showed that near infra-red (NIR) spectroscopy could be used to quantify powdery mildew on grapes, but NIR needs to be calibrated each vintage. We are investigating quantitative PCR and biochemical methods for calibrating NIR, as well as improving current methods for visual assessment of disease. This project involves collaboration with AWRI, University of Tasmania and industry partners, and is supported by GWRDC. We also conduct research on alternatives to conventional fungicides for the control of powdery mildew on grapes and horticultural crops. This research has led to the use of milk for control of this disease in organically managed vineyards, vegetable crops and home gardens. Current researchers include Dr Tijana Petrovic, Tim Zanker, Dilhani Perera (honours student) and Ben Pike (masters student).
Research on honeybees for delivering targeted control of Botrytis bunch rot in grapes began in 2013 to study the efficacy of delivery of fungicides (both biological and conventional) to grape flower clusters and quantify subsequent incidence and severity of Botrytis bunch rot. Preparations are underway to assess efficacy during flowering and bunch development on the 2013-14 growing season. Researchers include Drs Katja Hogendoorn and Cassandra Collins and the project is supported by the Waite Research Institute and representatives of the viticulture, bee-keeping and biological control industries.
Research on grapevine trunk diseases, a collaborative venture between AFW and SARDI, has been underway since 2000. We have developed DNA-based diagnostics for the fungus that causes eutypa dieback, elucidated aspects of epidemiology such as rate of spread within woody tissue, and identified chemical and biological agents that can prevent infection of vines. Research currently focuses on methods for spray application of control agents and effects of climate change on disease, and is supported by the GWRDC and industry. Researchers include Bruce Henderson (PhD student), Dr Mark Sosnowski and Matthew Ayres (SARDI).
Research in pulse pathology, again in close collaboration with SARDI, has included epidemiology and management of fungal diseases of chickpeas, lentils, faba beans and field peas. Our current focus is on epidemiology of Phoma koolunga, a pathogen identified in 2009 as being part of the ascochyta blight (or blackspot) complex on field peas. Researchers include Amanda Benger, Mohsen Khani (PhD students) and Dr Jenny Davidson (SARDI) and projects are supported by the GRDC.
Other research projects suitable for continued research include:
- Strategies for managing bacterial dieback of pistachio involving biological control using antagonistic bacteria and pathogen eradication via burial in soil
- Biological control of Pythium root rot and damping off of capsicum using antagonistic Actinobacteria
- Impact of Phytophthora cinnamomi on native vegetation in South Australia
Dr Kerrie Davies Visiting Research Fellow
Two large groups of Australian, insect-associated nematodes are being studied. In a unique species-specific mutualism with fergusoninid flies, Fergusobia (Tylenchida) induces galls on myrtaceous plants. Schistonchus (Aphelenchida) is associated with fig-pollinating wasps, from fig sycones. Fergusobia is largely confined to Australia, but Schistonchus is found world-wide. Both are speciose genera, being used as models for international, collaborative studies of co-evolution. To date, preliminary descriptions of 11 new species of Schistonchus and descriptions of 28 species of Fergusobia have been made, and the genus has been revised.
Dr Davies provides morphological and systematic support for phylogenetic analyses based on sequencing of rRNA D2D3 and mtCO1. Comparisons of phylogenies of the respective nematodes and their host plants and insects will enable testing of co-speciation, host switching and possible hybridization.
- Sosnowski MR, Loschiavo AP, Wicks TJ, Scott ES (2013) Evaluating treatments and spray application for the protection of grapevine pruning wounds from infection by Eutypa lata. Plant Disease (accepted 21 June 2013)
- Vu Thanh TA, Sosnowski MR, Giblot-Ducray D, Taylor C, Scott ES (2012) Effect of burning and high temperature on survival of Xanthomonas translucens pv. pistaciae in infected pistachio branches and twigs. Plant Pathology 61, 1182-92
- Kueh KH McKay SF, Facelli E, Facelli J, Velzeboer, RMA, Able AJ, Scott ES (2012) Response of selected South Australian native plant species to Phytophthora cinnamomi. Plant Pathology 61, 1165-78
- Scott ES, Dambergs RG, Stummer BE (2010) Fungal contaminants in the vineyard and wine quality. In: Reynolds AG (Ed) Managing Wine Quality: Viticulture and Wine Quality (Volume 1), Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK, pp 481-514
- Giblot-Ducray D, Marefat A, Gillings MR, Parkinson NM, Bowman JP, Ophel-Keller K, Taylor C, Facelli E, Scott ES (2009) Proposal of Xanthomonas translucens pv. pistaciae pv. nov., pathogenic to pistachio (Pistacia vera). Systematic and Applied Microbiology 32, 549-557
- Davidson JA, Hartley D, Priest M, Krysinska-Kaczmarek M, Herdina, McKay A, Scott ES (2009). A new species of Phoma causes ascochyta blight symptoms on field peas (Pisum sativum) in South Australia. Mycologia 101, 120-128
- Crisp P, Wicks TJ, Bruer D, Scott ES (2006) An evaluation of biological and abiotic controls for grapevine powdery mildew: 2. Vineyard trials. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 12, 203-11
- Amanda Able, Paul Grbin, Mike Keller, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, The University of Adelaide, South Australia
- Andy Austin and Gary Taylor, School of Earth and Environmental Science, The University of Adelaide, South Australia
- Jenny Davidson, Kathy Ophel Keller, Mark Sosnowski and Barbara Hall, SARDI.
- Bob Dambergs and Wies Cynkar, Australian Wine Research Institute, South Australia.
- Chris Franco, Flinders University, South Australia
- Belinda Stummer, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, South Australia
- Bob Emmett and Cathy Taylor, Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Mildura.
- Moin Salam, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
- Katherine Evans, Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, Tasmania
- Sandra Savocchia, Charles Sturt University, New South Wales
- David Bruer, Temple Bruer Wines, South Australia
- Gary Leeson, Organic Crop Protectants, New South Wales
- Renate Velzeboer, Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia
- Robin Giblin-Davis, The University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
- W. Douglas Gubler, University of California at Davis, California, US
- Heikki Hakkonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
- Natsumi Kanzaki, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Ibaraki, Japan
- Sonja Scheffer, USDA, Baltimore, USA
- Dani Shtienberg, Stanley Freeman and Giora Kritzman, Volcani Center, Israel
- W. Kelley Thomas, Hubbard Genomics Center, The University of New Hampshire, USA
Past Members/Students: Where are they now?
- Jenny Davidson (graduated 2013), SARDI (before during and after PhD)
- Steve Coventry (graduated 2012), IPM provider
- Rohan Kimber (graduated 2012), SARDI (before during and after PhD)
- Bonny Vogelzang (graduated 2012), PIRSA
- Kueh Kiong Hook (graduated 2012), Government of Sarawak Department of Agriculture
- Tu Anh Vu Thanh (graduated 2012), University of Tregganu, Malaysia
- Erminawati Wuryatmo (graduated 2011), Jendral Soedirman University, Indonesia
- Cathryn Todd (graduated 2009), SARDI
- Sarah Palmer (graduated 2008, principal supervisor: Dr Amanda Able) , University of Warwick, UK
- Matchima Naradisorn (graduated 2008, principal supervisor: Dr Amanda Able), Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand
- Bita Naseri (graduated 2007), The University of Zanjan, Iran
- Don Gomez (graduated 2006), CSIRO Plant Industry
- Su-lin Leong (graduated 2006), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
- Ben Killigrew (graduated from University of Western Australia, 2006), University of Western Australia
- Alireza Marefat (graduated 2006), The University of Zanjan, Iran
- Suzanne McKay (graduated 2005), SARDI
- Masters students (graduated since 2005) and employment
- Mohammed Abdulkareem (graduated 2012), Government of Iraq Department of Agriculture
- Saadiyah Al-Naseri (graduated 2012), Government of Iraq Department of Agriculture
- Alaa Nima (graduated 2012), Government of Iraq Department of Agriculture
- Asmah Salowi (graduated 2010), Government of Sarawak Department of Agriculture
- Yvonne Smith (graduated 2009), onion industry, South Australia
- Alexandra Babynec, B Oenol (graduated 2012), wine industry, South Australia
- Luise Sigel BAgSc (graduated 2012), Dept of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria
- Todd Storm BAgSc (graduated 2012), wine industry, South Australia
- Joshua Roberts, B Oenol (principal supervisor: Dr Paul Grbin, graduated 2011), wine industry, South Australia
- Sue Pederick, BAgSc (graduated 2010), SARDI
- Adrian Loschiavo BSc (Agricultural Science) (graduated 2009), GWRDC, Adelaide
- Amanda Benger, BAgSc (graduated 2006), PhD student, The University of Adelaide
- Mei Tan, B Food Sc and Tech (principal supervisor: Dr Paul Grbin, graduated 2006), food industry in Singapore.
- Sarah Bainbridge-Smith, B Oenol (principal supervisor: Dr Paul Grbin, graduated 2005), medical student, The University of Adelaide.
- Julian Malone, BAgSc (graduated 2005) California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
- Dale Godfrey, moved to IPAS in 2012
- Maarten Ryder, moved to Farming Systems Group in 2012
- Evelina Facelli, moved to SARDI in 2010
- Suzanne McKay, moved to SARDI in 2010
- Daniele Giblot-Ducray, moved to SARDI in 2009
- Peter Crisp, moved to SARDI in 2006
- Richard Lardner, moved to CSIRO Entomology in 2006
For information about studying in this field please visit our Student Services page.