Crop dis­eases un­der spot­light

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Como -

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.

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