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Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality

The role of minimum disease resistance standards for the control of cereal diseases

Hugh Wallwork

South Australian Research and Development Institute, Hartley Grove, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia. Email:

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58(6) 588-592
Submitted: 10 May 2006  Accepted: 1 December 2006   Published: 26 June 2007


A set of Minimum Disease resistance Standards (MDS) has been developed for rust resistance in new wheat varieties in Australia. These standards aim to provide protection to growers from varieties that produce large amounts of inoculum and, more specifically, protect the usefulness of resistance genes by reducing the probability of new pathotypes evolving with virulences that can overcome them. This paper provides a historical background to the establishment of MDS in Australia, the rationale for its introduction and the appropriateness of different resistance scales, problems that have been encountered, and the way forward to fully implement MDS. A brief consideration is also given as to which other wheat and barley diseases MDS may usefully be applied to.

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