«Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia Final report project Improving understanding and management of ...»
Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia
Improving understanding and
management of rice pathogens in
Dr Ric Cother
Agricultural Institute, NSW DPI
Dr Ben Stodart
Charles Sturt University
Assoc. Professor Gavin Ash
Charles Sturt University
Dr Paul Fox
final report number
978 1 921615 57 3 ISBN ACIAR published by GPO Box 1571 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia This publication is published by ACIAR ABN 34 864 955 427. Care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However ACIAR cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in the publication. You should make your own enquiries before making decisions concerning your interests.
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2 of 46 Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia Contents 1 Acknowledgments
2 Executive summary
6 Achievements against activities and outputs/milestones.................. 10 7 Key results and discussion
8.1 Scientific impacts – now and in 5 years
8.2 Capacity impacts – now and in 5 years
8.3 Community impacts – now and in 5 years
8.4 Communication and dissemination activities
9 Conclusions and recommendations
10.1 References cited in report
10.2 List of publications produced by project
11.1 Plant Disease specimen submission form
11.2 Poster accepted for 16th Biennial Australasian Plant Pathology Conference, Adelaide, September 2007
Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia 1 Acknowledgments The assistance of Dorothy Noble with identification of bacteria by fatty acid methyl ester analysis is gratefully acknowledged.
Dr Russell Reinke and Ms Margrit Martin kindly analysed some quality parameters of rice for this project.
2 Executive summary This project was very successful in accomplishing four of the five intended objectives.
A functioning plant pathology laboratory was established at the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), equipped with all necessary equipment, consumables and a good library of reference texts.
Training workshops were held in Australia and Cambodia and were followed up with continuing on-the-job training, in Cambodia, in plant pathology survey skills, diagnosis and preliminary identification of pathogens, using rice as a model crop.
A Plant Pathology Herbarium was established at CARDI to provide a permanent record of verified disease samples which not only provide future training material but which also serve to meet Cambodia's WTO obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention whereby countries are required to know the health status of their crops intended for export.
Disease surveys were conducted in the wet and dry seasons in 2006 and 2007, targeting rice but also including other important crops. The incidence of rice blast was found to be low, but bacterial diseases were observed to be causing large yield losses in many crops.
Four bacterial pathogens of rice were recorded for the first time in Cambodia. A previously undescribed bacterial pathogen of rice was observed and studied, and a description of a new species of Pseudomonas will be published from this work.
The project surveyed for the rice blast fungus in northern Australia over two seasons but it was not found, despite earlier reports of its occurrence. Three bacterial pathogens, similar to those found in Cambodia, were recorded on Oryza australiensis in the Northern Territory. The bacterial studies in Cambodia provided a basis for identifying a previously unrecorded bacterial pathogen (Pseudomonas fuscovaginae) of rice in the Riverina region of southern New South Wales.
Crop loss assessment studies on rice crops in Takeo Province showed that bacterial diseases caused significant yield and quality losses. Stem disease caused yield losses of up to 50% and high level of disease in florets could reduce grain weight per panicle by 90%. Disease also increased the amount of chalkiness in grain and an increase in grain breakage during milling.
The objective to produce disease management strategies was not accomplished due to the extra time devoted to the unexpected level of bacterial diseases encountered during surveys, and the loss of pathology personnel at CARDI.
5 of 46 Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia 3 Background In Cambodia, rice occupies 90% of the total agricultural area. With an average consumption of about 160 kg per person per year, rice is by far the most important staple food of Cambodia. Rice is also the major agricultural item in terms of farmer income. The per-hectare rice yield in Cambodia is among the lowest in Asia. The average yield for the wet season crop is about 0.95 tonnes of unmilled rice per hectare. The dry-season crop yield is traditionally higher (1.8 t/ha). There is no doubt that, in Cambodia, diseases of rice contribute to the low productivity by reducing yield and grain quality, especially during the wet season.
There are more than 50 important diseases of rice crops in Asia and other tropical and temperate rice growing areas that lower yields and increase production costs. Very little information is known on distribution, prevalence and importance of rice diseases under Cambodian conditions, as there is virtually no plant pathology expertise in Cambodia.
Cambodian researchers working at the Cambodian Agricultural and Development Research Institute (CARDI) were, therefore, interested in capacity building in plant pathology.
A visit to CARDI in August 2004 emphasised the complete absence of any plant pathology facilities at CARDI and the almost complete lack of knowledge in the country of plant pathology principles.
The primary goal of the project was to train Cambodian researchers to create and develop local knowledge and expertise in general plant pathology and, in particular, rice pathology.
The project will help the development of Cambodia’s long term agricultural research capacity.
The Australian rice industry has enjoyed over 80 years of freedom from serious diseases.
Few of the debilitating diseases of rice crops found elsewhere in the world have been recorded in the region. However, there are more than 50 important diseases of rice crops in the region that lower yields and increase production costs.
The reciprocal benefits to the Australian rice industry would come from a greater understanding of exotic diseases of rice that are not yet present in Australia and development of strategies that will assist their avoidance. The project, therefore, addressed two of ACIAR’s National Research Priorities: an environmentally sustainable Australia and safeguarding Australia from diseases and pests.
6 of 46 Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia 4 Objectives
The primary objectives of the project were to:
Upgrade expertise and CARDI facilities for plant pathology to increase diagnostic capacity and capacity in plant pathology research and development with an emphasis on rice.
• Develop and implement an effective training program in Australia and Cambodia to address Cambodian researcher needs.
• Upgrade the CARDI plant pathology laboratory to support disease identification and plant pathology research and development.
• Support on-the-job training in plant pathology through involvement in various research programs.
Collect, identify and curate herbarium specimens and isolates of pathogens of rice and other principal crops present in Cambodia.
• Establish a culture collection at CARDI.
• The Australian plant pathologists will travel to Cambodia to assist the local team to survey disease incidence and to collect, identify and lodge specimens into CARDI’s new culture collection and herbarium.
Examine the pathogenicity of rice blast isolates already present in northern and eastern Australia to current rice cultivars.
• Collect isolates of P. grisea from northern and eastern Australia.
• Glasshouse and laboratory work will be undertaken to determine the genetic structure and the pathogenicity of the Australian isolates of P. grisea collected during the survey. Although there are no quarantine restrictions that would prevent testing the pathogen in Wagga, the pathogenicity testing of the P. grisea isolates and DNA extraction will be done at NSW DPI, Orange. DNA characterisation will be done at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.
Evaluate the distribution, prevalence, severity and priority for future work of rice diseases occurring in Cambodia.
• Aggregate all data generated by the disease surveys and prepare maps showing the distribution and prevalence of rice diseases in Cambodia (objective 2).
• Identify the most damaging diseases of rice occurring under Cambodian conditions
Develop, test and, if appropriate, promote some best-bet Integrated Disease Managements strategies for several major diseases.
• Develop and test integrated disease management strategies such as crop rotation, using disease-free clean rice seeds, crop residue removal and variety mixing.
• Produce extension material to help Cambodian extension staff convince Cambodian rice farmers to implement the successful IDM strategies.
7 of 46 Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia 5 Methodology Objective 1. Upgrade expertise and CARDI facilities for plant pathology to increase diagnostic capacity and capacity in plant pathology research and development, with an emphasis on rice Develop and implement an effective training program in Australia and Cambodia to address Cambodian researcher needs.
Drs Ny Vuthy and Preap Visarto visited Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga in November 2005 to participate in 2½ weeks of training in plant pathology principles and methods. The course was structured to meet known and anticipated needs in Cambodia.
The course was delivered by Drs Cother, Lanoiselet and Ash, based on material developed by Dr Lanoiselet and teaching aids from Dr Ash.
The workshop covered informal lectures and videos, field visits to onion, tomato and rice crops in the Riverina, and laboratory practices.
A visit was made to the Agricultural Scientific Collection Unit at Orange to look at the plant pathology herbarium and for demonstrations in plant bacteriology techniques. A new plant pathology laboratory at Wagga Agricultural Institute was visited to discuss the principles of lab design and work flow.
Two days were devoted to:
• Planning the workflow in the CARDI plant pathology laboratory, placement of equipment and infrastructure (shelves, cupboards and additional power points) that would need to be acquired for practical operation of the lab. These were overlaid on photographs of the lab taken during our visit in August 2004.
• Planning and logistics for the survey to be undertaken in February 2006. Content and structure of the training workshop to be held at CARDI during the February visit to Cambodia, and an action plan for both parties was prepared. The target audience was deemed to include personnel from CARDI (10-12), DALLI (2), provinces (10), NGOs and AQIP (2) private consultants and farmers (2-4). Scope of instruction and method of delivery was discussed.
A workshop for 29 district and CARDI personnel was held in February 2006, centred on the principles of disease recognition and diagnosis, and how to distinguish disease from other damage.
Upgrade the CARDI plant pathology laboratory to support disease identification and plant pathology research and development The project provided funds to equip a laboratory at CARDI with all the necessary equipment and consumables to run a functioning microbiology laboratory.
Objective 2. Collect, identify and curate herbarium specimens and isolates of pathogens of rice and other principal crops present in Cambodia.
Although rice was the ‘model’ crop for teaching and surveying, the opportunity was taken to look at diseases in other crops as the principles taught are applicable to all crop species.
Surveys were conducted on six occasions in the wet and dry seasons.
Isolations were made on-the-road at night or in the lab at CARDI. Where identification could not be made during each visit, cultures were carried to Australia under AQIS permits and detailed studies were performed at Orange, NSW on living cultures or by molecular techniques on DNA at Wagga Wagga. Cultures of verified isolates are being stored in the living culture collections of Herb. DAR, OAI, Orange.
8 of 46 Final Report: Improving understanding and management of rice pathogens in Cambodia Objective 3. Examine the pathogenicity of rice blast isolates already in northern and eastern Australia to current rice cultivars.