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Lurking under the radar: How has the exotic plant pest Verticillium dahliae VCG1A remained undetected for over 30 years?

Project Member(s): Bhattacharya, P.

Funding or Partner Organisation: NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW Department of Industry)

Start year: 2016

Summary: Verticillium causes vascular wilts of plants, capable of infecting more than 200 host plants, with the species Verticillium dahliae being a major threat to the Australian cotton and olive industries. The phytopathogen Verticillium dahliae is a soil–borne ascomycete fungi, which is difficult and costly to control. Historically in cotton, only the non-defoliating vegetative capability group (VCG) 4B was thought to be present in Australia, with the recent detection of VCG2A. Molecular characterization of the NSW historical culture collection has recently revealed the presence of the defoliating strain VCG1A that is exotic to Australia. Typically VCG1A is devastating to cotton, however the severity of the disease to date has been limited, which may have lead to it going undetected for over 30 years. This raises a number of questions regarding both the genetic diversity of VCG1A in Australia and how this compares to other countries. This PhD program has an underlying theme of understanding the genetic diversity of the Australian VCG1A through whole genome sequencing and analysis, however this project does support scientific exploration of which the suitable candidate can explore.


Daigle, PD, Kirkby, K, Collins, D, Cuddy, W, Lonergan, P, Roser, S, Chowdhury, PR, Labbate, M & Chapman, TA 2020, 'Virulence not linked with vegetative compatibility groups in Australian cotton Verticillium dahliae isolates', April 2020, vol. 14, no. 14(04):2020, pp. 633-640.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Keywords: Verticillium dahliae, fungi, disease, cotton

FOR Codes: Mycology, Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds), Horticultural Crops, Mycology , Crop and pasture protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)