Liz Minchinton – DPI Victoria

Dr Liz MinchintonR&D logoDr Elizabeth Minchinton
Department of Primary Industries Victoria
Private Bag 15,
Ferntree Gully Delivery Centre,
VIC, 3156

Tel:    03 9210 9222
Fax:    03 9800 3521

DPI Vic logoExpertise:

    • White Blister of brassicas
    • Downy and powdery mildews
    • Foliage diseases, predictive models and IPM disease control
    • Fungal and bacterial of diseases of tomatoes
    • Diseases of bunching vegetables, brassicas, celery, parsley, parsnip and spring onions

Elizabeth Minchinton 2006 Vegetable Researcher of the Year
The AUSVEG 2006 Vegetable Researcher of the Year Award was awarded to Dr Elizabeth Minchinton of the Victorian Department of Primary Industries for her ongoing contributions to vegetable research in the field of plant pathology.

08026 IPM Strategies for Pythium root rots in Apiaceae crops

Damping OffThis national project will determine the role of Pythium fungi in root rots and cankers of Parsley, Coriander and Parsnip.

The project will identify factors contributing to disease and develop integrated disease management strategies.?

Pythium are parasitic root fungi, common in vegetable crops and the damage they cause often goes unnoticed.?

Damage can affect small lateral roots, reducing water and nutrient uptake and limiting crop growth.

In extreme cases Pythium causes “damping-off” disease of seedlings and cavity spot on carrots.

Horticulture AustraliaVG
07070 Benchmarking disease predictive models

White blister disease on brassicas:

  1. Irrigation: trials indicate that incidence of Whie Blister could be halved in susceptible broccoli varieties by irrigating at 6am rather than 8pm.

  2. Prediction: Weather based models reduced the number of sprays by up to 85% but did not control White Blister as well as the weekly copper sprays ?

Identifying white blister resistant varieties:? Two broccoli varieties; ‘Booster’ and ‘Tyson’, did not show symptoms of White Blister disease in a trial of six broccoli and two cauliflower varieties.

Lettuce downy mildew:

lettuce - downy mildewPredictive model – The models for downy mildew on lettuce are being compared with the observed incidence of the disease in the field.

Alternative approaches to leaf wetness sensors:
Laboratory trials at University of Queensland have identified a ‘Fuzzy Logic’ model that better simulates actual leaf wetness.

Plant nutrition: SARDI are studying of the effects of nitrogen fertiliser on the incidence of downy mildew in lettuce.

septoria on celeryVG 06047
Predicting Septoria late blight in Celery

  • Weather-based disease forecasting was able to control of Septoria late blight in Celery.
  • The system was able to nearly halve the cost of controlling septoria in celery crops.
  • Greatest savings could be made in the early stages of crop production, before canopy closure.

  • VG 06047 final report – extract

parsley root rotVG 06046 Management of root-rot diseases in Parsley

  • 12 months extension of VG 04025 to refine the management and control of Parsley root rot.
  • Fungicides reduced the incidence of the disease up to 97%
  • Controls for parsley root rot include fungicides and tolerant varieties.
  • VG 06046 final report – extract


parsnip cankerVG 05045 Management of Parsnip Canker

  • Parsnip growers have reported severe losses

    of up to 80% from parsnip canker.

  • Growers now have information on the cause, extent and possible predisposing factors for parsnip canker.
  • VG 05045 final report – extract





Horticulture AustraliaVG 04025 Scoping study of root-rot diseases in parsley

Parsley Disease Handbook

This “Guide to Common Diseases of Parsley” (2006, 46 pages), describes 18 parsley diseases and disorders common across Australia.

Symptoms are clearly shown in over 30 colour photos and practical control measures are suggested.

The diseases and disorders listed in this book often occur on parsley in Australia.

Many carrot and celery diseases and disorders also affect parsley and several can occur on plants at the same time.

Horticulture AustraliaVG 04016 Scoping study
to manage Septoria late blight in celery

Late blight is the major leaf disease of celery.

It first appears as brown spots on older leaves and can quickly spread through the crop.

The disease is currently controlled with routine weekly sprays of protective fungicide.

  • A weather-based disease forecasting system was found effective at reducing fungicide applications
    and control late blight in celery crops until canopy closure, but not beyond.

  • The trials have shown winter celery crops can be produced practically free from late blight saving over $400/ha in fungicide costs.
  • Celery Poster
  • VG 04016 final report – extract

Horticulture AustraliaVG 04013 Management
of white blister (rust) in crucifer crops

White blister, affects brassicas such as broccoli and devastated Victorian crops in 2001-2002.

The initial source of disease not identified and there was no evidence that seed was the source.

A number of fungicides that control the disease were yet to be registered for use.

white blister trial

Horticulture AustraliaVG 02118 Control of rust on crucifers

VG 01045 Control of bunching vegetable diseases

Bunching Vegetable handbookThis “Guide to Common Diseases and Disorders of Bunching Vegetables in Australia”(2003, 58 pages) was produced by the R&D levy funded project VG010045.

The diseases and disorders listed in this book often occur on bunching vegetables in Australia and several can occur on plants at the same time.

Crops covered include:

  1. Bok Choy / Pak Choy
  2. Beetroot
  3. Coriander
  4. Dutch carrots
  5. Parsley
  6. Radish
  7. Spinach
  8. Spring onions

NY 97011 Integrated control of downy mildew on nursery seedlings

NY 406 Downy mildew on nursery plants

Earlier Work – DPI Victoria

  • Control of powdery mildew (Oidium lycopersici) in processing tomatoes.
  • Integrated Pest Management for fungal diseases of processing tomatoes.
  • Control of downy mildew in Brassica seedlings
  • Contingency plans for fire blight on pears in the Goulburn Valley
    and other pome fruit districts.

  • Control of black leg, black scurf and other postharvest storage rots
    of seed potatoes.

  • Control of black rot (Xanthomonas campestris) in Brassica seeds.
  • Control of a bacterial leaf spot and stem rot disease of carnations.
  • Epidemiology and control of bacterial head rot in Broccoli.

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