[ASC-list] WA: Mildew Mania - we need you! REGISTRATION EXTENDED

Emma Donnelly e.donnelly at curtin.edu.au
Thu Apr 7 01:46:06 UTC 2011

Mildew mania! - Investigate the state-wide spread of barley fungal diseases
An invitation to take part in a state-wide science experiment!

More information or to register your interest
For more information on the project visit our Citizen Science page at:
If you or your school would like to take part in this state-wide science
please register at: http://curtinmildewmania2011.eventbrite.com
REGISTRATIONS EXTENDED - now close on the 11 April 2011

Curtin University would like to invite schools to help with an ongoing
citizen-science research project aimed at protecting Western Australia¹s
barley crops from the damaging effect of powdery mildew disease.
In WA, this disease causes the most economic impact on barley. Researchers
at Curtin University¹s Department of Environment and Agriculture aim to give
plant breeders and growers the tools they require to control this disease
and therefore reduce the state¹s 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 ³races² 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.
This is a rare and exciting opportunity for your students to conduct
meaningful science research that will have a real impact on Western
How can you help?
We need your help to trap the strain of barley powdery mildew near you and
report your results to us at Curtin University in Bentley.
Once registered, an experiment pack containing full activity instructions
and barley seeds will be sent to you. Your class or school will need to grow
the barley in a location with ample natural wind exposure to ensure
³trapping² of the mildew spores.
You will need to source compost/fertiliser, pots and a small (somewhat
partially protected) area to grow the plants (such as a modest shade house
or area where students cannot meddle with the plants). Barley is relatively
easy to grow and all your experimental plants need would be regular
watering, feeding and observation.
Schools can apply for small grants from Curtin University School of Science
to assist with the purchase of consumables and equipment (limited available,
conditions apply).
Proposed cost to school
Registration = FREE
Seeds and instructions = FREE
Scientific analysis = FREE
Plastic pots = 3 (25cm pots) x $2.00 = $6.00
Fertiliser = 1 x $10 = $10.00
Potting mix = 1 x $10.00 = $10.00
Postage of results = $4.00
Total = $26.00
Optional - Clear plastic (if ad hoc ³shade house² required) = $5.00 (per
metre) x 2m = $10.00
Optional - Stakes for shade house = 4 x $2.00 = $8.00
Educational value
This activity can be completed by nearly any student body as the experiment
can be manipulated to suit a number of year levels.
Junior students can perform all the operations needed to grow, look after
and observe the plants. Senior students can be introduced to the concepts of
plant disease, genetic resistance (we can include resistant barley cultivars
if requested), fungicide control and fungicide resistance.

·     11 April 2011 ­ Registrations close

·     Mid April 2011 ­ experiment packs arrive in mail

·     Mid April to Mid May 2011 ­ prime barley planting time

·     May to August 2011 - growing season

·     July to September 2011 ­ samples photographed and collected by
students and mailed to Curtin University

·     August to October 2011 ­ samples tested in Curtin labs

·     November 2011 ­ results published in newsletter to schools

·     End of November 2011 ­ Expression of Interest for 2012 close to help
us track the spread of different strains of barley powdery mildew across WA
More information and to register your interest
For more information on the project, visit:
If you or your school would like to take part in this state-wide science
please register at: http://curtinmildewmania2011.eventbrite.com
Registrations close on the 11 April 2011.

Emma Donnelly
Science Outreach Coordinator | Faculty Science and Engineering

Curtin University
Tel | +61 8 9266 1021
Fax | +61 8 9266 2021
Office | Building 311 Room 147

Email | e.donnelly at curtin.edu.au
Web | http://science.curtin.edu.au/outreach
Postal address | GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia, 6845

Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology.
CRICOS Provider Code 00301J (WA), 02637B (NSW)

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