Crop diseases under spotlight
YELLOW spot, septoria nodorum blotch, powdery mildew, net blotch of barley, sclerotinia and ascochyta blight – all insidious crop diseases – will have the focus of about 70 scientists by the time a new agriculture research facility is complete at Curtin University in 2016.
The $40 million project was commemorated with an official sod turning by Curtin ViceChancellor Professor Deborah Terry and Grains Research and Development Corporation managing director John Harvey last week.
The facility will allow the Centre for Crop and Disease Management, an initiative developed in partnership between Curtin and Australian grain growers, to safely carry out pathogen research with high containment, and ultimately help reduce the economic impact of important grain diseases.
“The new laboratory building will contain uniquely designed physical containment laboratories to enable high-level experimentation on pathogens that are of threat,” Mr Harvey said.
Grains Research and Development Corporation managing director John Harvey and Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry turn the first sod.