Fungi in Victoria with biological control potential for Nassella trichotoma (serrated tussock)

I.P. HussainiA, A.C. LawrieA and D.A. McLarenB, Co-operative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems

A Department of Applied Biology and Biotechnology, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.

B Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Keith Turnbull Research Institute, PO Box 48, Frankston, Victoria 3199, Australia.


Abstract

Serrated tussock is a noxious pasture weed in Australia which is not well controlled. The aim of this study was to find fungal pathogens in Australia that cause death or reduction in seed set. Two fungi found on serrated tussock near Melbourne appear to have potential for biological control. Zinzipegasa argentinensis was observed causing black lesions on culms, reduction in flowering and apparently death of plants at Melbourne Airport and near the Organ Pipes National Park. Fusarium was associated with a crown rot in plants at Werribee and near the Organ Pipes National Park. These fungi should be investigated further for their potential to control serrated tussock, either as classical biocontrol agents or as mycoherbicides.

 

Plant Protection Quarterly (1998) 13 (2) 99-101.