Ecology and Control of Cereal Cyst Nematode (Heterodera avenae) in Southern Australia


  • R. H. Brown


The ecology and control of cereal cyst nematode in southern Australia is reviewed. The wide distribution of Heterodera avenae in Victoria and South Australia is due largely to movement of cysts by wind during dust storms. The fungus Rhizoctonia solani frequently is associated with the nematode in a disease complex in wheat, and disease symptoms are most severe on lighter or well structured soils. Crop rotations which include periods of fallow, or of nonhost crop reduce population levels of H. avenae and improve yields. Early-sown crops (April-May) are less severely damaged than late-sown crops (June-July). The resowing of damaged wheat crops or the application of nitrogenous fertilizers rarely improve grain yields. 'Katyil,' the world's first wheat cultivar bred specifically with resistance to H. avenae, has been released in Victoria. Chemical control of the nematode in cereals is now commercially feasible, and five nematicides are registered for use by growers. Key words: wheat, crop rotation, resowing, fertilizers, resistance, nematicides.