VG04013 White Blister – Workshop Notes

White blister is a fungal-like disease of brassicas that began devastating Victorian broccoli crops during the summer of 2001-02.

It has since spread rapidly across Australia, despite the implementation of interstate trade barriers.

The consequences for industry are year-round fungicide applications to control the unsightly white blisters and swellings on the leaves and heads.

With support of AUSVEG, HAL and the Victorian Government, researched at DPI Victoria has developed management strategies for white blister on seed, seedlings and in the field.

This project details the outcomes of a 3 year study on management strategies for white blister (rust) on brassicas which:

(1) developed an validated a seed health test

(2) developed a rapid molecular test to distinguish races of Albugo candida

(3) evaluated a disease predictive model

(4) evaluated chemical control strategies

(5) examined the economics of controlling the disease

(6) identified varieties more tolerant of white blister

VG04013 Management of white blister - workshop notes 2007
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The major outcomes of this project are improved management strategies for white blister control in

These strategies are growing more tolerant cultivars, avoidance of evening irrigation and
applications of systemic fungicides according to either the ‘Brassicaspot’
disease predictive model, the
‘Best Bets’ program or on a calendar basis.

This project developed a molecular test to distinguish
races of white blister and developed a seed health test which is sensitive to one oospore
per 5 g of seed.

It was established that inoculum from the common weed Shepherd’s purse and
from crops of Chinese cabbage, do not cause white blister on broccoli in Australia.

However, as inoculum from shepherd�s purse does cause disease on broccoli
overseas, weed hosts should be removed to reduce the probability of similar situation developing in

Growers should use the seed test to ensure they start with ‘clean seed’, grow less susceptible
cultivars, avoid night irrigation and protect broccoli buttons from infection as they develop into heads.

This approach will maximize the production of broccoli that meets the high aesthetic standards in the

The researchers acknowledge the financial support for this project from Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), AUSVEG, the Federal Government and the Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries Research Victoria.

The authors thank Dr Hoong Pung of Peracto and Dr Kristen Stirling of Department of Agriculture and Food WA, for managing field trials in Tasmania and WA respectively.

Growing and marketing vegetables demands a great deal from growers and consequently many are
unable to participate in steering committees.

The authors thank the the members of the advisory groups, who have contributed to the success of the project:

James Kelly – Kelly Bros., Dandenong

Mark Milligan – A&G Lamattina & Sons, Rosebud

Jo Kelly – Tullamore Gardens, Cranbourne

Luis and Paul Gazzola – Gazzola Farms, Somerville

Glenn Favero – Favero Gardens, Cranbourne

Rob Nave – Nave Produce, Werribee South

Kon Koroneos – Koroneos Farms, Werribee South

Harry Velisha – Velisha Brothers, Werribee South

Karl Riedel – E. E. Muir & Sons � Cranbourne

Dale O’Connell – E.E. Muir & Sons – Werribee

Brian Brewer – Elders – Packenham

Stephen Moore – E.E. Muir & Sons – Werribee

Ian Willert – Boomaroo Nurseries – Lara

Matt Newland – Boomaroo Nurseries – Lara

David McDonald – South Pacific Seeds – Dandenong

Daniel Gleeson – Henderson Seeds – Bulleen

Dr Elizabeth Minchinton – DPI-Knoxfield

Joanna Petkowski – DPI-Knoxfield

Dr Robert Faggian – DPI-Knoxfield

Slobodan Vujovic – DPI-Knoxfield

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