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A DNA-based soil testing service operates in Australia to assist grain growers in predicting the likely extent of losses from various soilborne diseases well before a crop is planted. Growers, therefore, have the option of changing cultivars or modifying cropping programs in situations where the risk of crop loss is high. The service was launched in 1997(More)
A two-step process was used to assess the risk of losses from root-knot nematode and Fusarium wilt in fields to be planted to tomatoes. The first step involved deciding well before planting whether the risk of disease was high enough to justify collecting soil samples to determine pathogen inoculum density. This interim assessment was done using information(More)
Molecular techniques present a new opportunity to study roots and their interactions in soil. Extraction and quantification of species-specific DNA directly from soil allows direct identification of roots in mixed swards reducing the need for labour-intensive methods to recover and identify individual roots. DNA was extracted directly from up to 0.5 kg of(More)
Study of roots and associated organisms in soil particularly in mixed plant populations, such as pastures, is limited by difficulties in quantification of root growth and function. The research evaluated the potential of DNA quantification by real-time PCR to improve our capacity to study and understand roots in such contexts. Probes and primers were(More)
Marine pest incursions can cause significant ongoing damage to aquaculture, biodiversity, fisheries habitat, infrastructure and social amenity. They represent a significant and ongoing economic burden. Marine pests can be introduced by several vectors including aquaculture, aquarium trading, commercial shipping, fishing, floating debris, mining activities(More)
Quantification of root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus thornei and P. neglectus) was evaluated using three different methods; the Whitehead tray method, the mister method and the commercially available quantitative DNA assay. These methods were compared to determine the effect of soil water content, sampling method and soil storage conditions on estimates of(More)
Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to(More)
In Mediterranean-type environments, effective capture of intermittent rainfall is important for crop drought tolerance. Two wheat genotypes RAC875 and Kukri differing in drought tolerance vary in several shoot traits and grain yield. Little is known about root traits contributing to drought tolerance. This study examined dynamic root responses to cyclic(More)
The multiplication of root lesion nematode (Pratylenchus neglectus) was compared for 13 species of annual pasture legume (eight Medicago spp., two Lotus spp., two Trigonella spp. and Trifolium balansae), triticale (Secale cereale × wheat hybrid cv. Tahara) and wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Machete) at two field sites in South Australia. At sowing, the(More)
Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (Ggt) soil DNA inoculum levels in wheat fields were studied in NewZealand as part of work to identify wheat fields with a low risk of take-all. Ggt DNAinoculum levels have been identified overseas as peaking near the harvest date of wheat then declining. Early sowing is also reported to increase take-all infection. The(More)