Posts in Biology
Pathogenicity, diversity, biology and sources of resistance to Pseudomonas fuscovaginae in rice (March 2013)

Pseudomonas fuscovaginae is a bacterial pathogen of rice that causes sheath brown rot, grain discolouration and panicle sterility. It is slowly gaining recognition as a yield constraint of rice in many regions of the world. Although, P. fuscovaginae was first reported in Australia in 2009, there is little information available on the relative pathogenicity and aggressiveness of the Australian strains when compared to world strains. In this thesis its pathogenicity and aggressiveness, as well as prevalence in the rice growing areas of the Riverina region in New South Wales Australia were presented. Australian strains were more pathogenic and aggressive than world strains. The DAR 77138 strain from Australia was the most pathogenic and aggressive. A further survey of bacteria associated with discolouration of the panicle and sheath in the rice growing areas of the Riverina region in NSW Australia in 2010, failed to find any P. fuscovaginae.

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Involvement of the sucrose transporter, OsSUT1, in the long-distance pathway for assimilate transport in rice. J Exp Bot 58: 3155-3169 (February 2007)


Sucrose is the main form in which assimilate, produced by photosynthetic source tissues such as the flag leaf blade, is transported via the long-distance vascular pathway to sink tissues. In sink tissue, sucrose may be used directly for metabolism or may be temporarily stored prior to remobilization for use at a later stage of the plant’s development. The primary sink tissue in cereal species is the filling grain of the panicle, in which the carbohydrate accumulates as starch in the endosperm and embryo.

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Effect of Rice Stubble Burning on Soil Health - Link (February 2006)


This RIRDC report present the findings of the investigation comparing the effects of stubble burning and stubble retention on a range of soil chemical and biological properties. The method  included comparing paired sites on eight properties, four pairs, with different histories and soil types in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. The chemical properties included total soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur (C, N, P and S). Soil biological properties included the size and activity of the microbial biomass, the microbial and metabolic quotients, the rate of cellulose decomposition and a range of information concerning the composition of the microbial population derived from fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis. The findings included sites retaining stubble had significantly more C, N, P and S than the corresponding property that burnt stubble despite differences in other management strategies. It is considered that the biological properties of the stubble retained soils healthier than the corresponding stubble burnt soils. Whilst  two measurements used to indicate soil stress, the microbial quotient and a stress indicator derived from FAME analysis, indicate that the stubble retained soils were less stressed than the stubble burnt soils. The findings supported the view that for rice, or other summer crop stubble, to decompose at the fastest rate in the field it should be incorporated as soon as possible after harvest, before winter, and not during the sowing of the following summer crop, before summer. It is suggested that there needs to be a balance of available nutrients to optimise nutrient availability and potential carbon sequestration in stubble retained systems, especially in the early years after switching from a stubble burning regime. 

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Targeting NIR Tissue test sampling using aerial imagery and identifying the factors causing variable rice growth and crop yields – Rice CRC Project No. 5101 (2005)

The new precision agriculture tool, aerial infrared images has created an opportunity for rice farmers to assess crop variability. At ground level variability is difficult to assess.  Aerial infrared images readily show crop variability.

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Molecular Markers for Rice Breeding - RIRDC Project USC-4A (2003)

Molecular markers are bits of the genetic code (DNA) that are inherited along with the gene or genes that impart different traits in the individual, be it human, animal or in the context of this report, plant.  Molecular markers help plant breeders reduce some of the uncertainties of plant breeding.  Molecular markers are unique bits of DNA that indicate a plant (or other organism) has a certain characteristic Use of molecular markers has the potential to speed up the development of new rice varieties. Molecular markers enable the development of varieties resistant to diseases, without ever having to introduce the disease pathogen to the research program, or the industry.

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