Mildew Mania 2017 - mapping barley powdery mildew across Australia

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Metro and Regional Australian school yards

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This is a rare and exciting opportunity for your students to conduct meaningful science research that will have a real impact in Australia!

Call for expressions of interest Mildew Mania in 2017

In 2016
97 primary and secondary classes participated in Mildew Mania.
35% were country schools
65% metro schools
with 40% of schools having participated in Mildew Mania before
Equalling 1836 students

In 2017 we are looking for keen students and teachers to help us again!

Background information:

Curtin University would like to invite schools to help with an ongoing citizen-science research project aimed at protecting West Australia’s barley crops from the damaging effect of powdery mildew disease.

In WA, this disease causes the most economic impact on barley. Researchers at Curtin University’s Centre for Crop and Disease Management aim to give plant breeders and growers the tools they require to control this disease and therefore reduce the state’s losses.

Barley mildew is currently controlled in two ways, through genetics and through fungicides. But these are both presently compromised.

Genetic resistance to the disease is no longer effective, as the pathogen population can rapidly evolve to overcome the resistance genes that are present in current cultivars. To solve this problem this researchers need to explore which “races’’ of the pathogen are present in different parts of WA.

The second control is fungicide. Curtin researchers have observed that much of the population is becoming resistant to the most commonly used fungicides. To combat this we need to identify which WA mildew populations are fungicide resistant and which are not.

You will be helping the world-renowned Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) at Curtin.

Cost: free. There is a small cost for equipment of around $30 (potting mix and pots).

Proposed timeline:

  • End of April 2017 – Registrations close
  • May 2017 – experiment packs arrive in mail
  • May to early August 2017 – prime barley planting time
  • May to August 2017 - growing season
  • June to September 2017 – samples photographed and collected by students and mailed to Curtin University
  • August to October 2017 – samples tested in Curtin labs
  • November 2017 – results published in newsletter to schools

Please note - we are working on one kit per registered group/class group.

For more information visit or contact us directly

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