Science Gossip: the stories trees share

The inaugural Science Gossip event was held at the Royal Society of Victoria on the 15th of May. The event planted artists, philosophers, the public and scientists in common ground to discuss and unravel the secrets of forest communication, complexities and communities. Dr Renee Beale invited RSV members and guests to ‘really see trees.’

Scientific Research Leads to Disease Prediction – A Boon for Australian Canola Growers

A breakthrough in disease prediction saved canola farmers on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, at least $18 million in 2012. The major threat to canola, Australia’s third most valuable grain crop, is a fungal disease named blackleg, which causes cankers at the base of the canola stem. Over the last decade, a team led by Professor Barbara Howlett, School of Botany, the University of Melbourne, and funded by Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), has used traditional and molecular genetic techniques to monitor blackleg resistance of canola varieties sown across Australia.  Professor Howlett’s scientific research underpins advice to farmers on best management practices to minimise losses in crop yield due to blackleg infections.