Halo Blight in Australian Mungbeans

Crop and Pasture Science - Thomas J. Noble, Anthony J. Young, Colin A. Douglas, Brett Williams, and Sagadevan Mundree

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Bacteria can multiply and adapt faster than conventional plant breeding methods, but the utilisation of new technologies to diagnose and develop cultivars resistant to Halo Blight could aid in protecting mungbean crops, plus the management strategies mentioned here could be of interest.

Diagnosis and Management of Halo Blight in Australian Mungbeans: a Review

What is this paper reviewing?

Mung beans (Vigna radiata L.Wilczek var. radiata) are a high value export crop and important summer rotation crop due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, short grow period, and their high nutritional profile. These crops are under threat from a seed-borne bacterial disease called Halo Blight (Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola).

This disease leads to necrotic lesions surrounded by a yellowish-green chlorotic halo that stunts growth and kills the plant. It is difficult to diagnose the infection visually, has an asymptomatic phase, and a wide host range. These factors favour epidemics of the disease under favourable conditions.

This paper reviews current and emerging technology to aid in the identification and management of this disease.

Why should you read it?

Current management strategies promoted by industry are not sufficient in preventing outbreaks, but by utilising growing technologies such as diagnostic arrays and gene editing, in conjunction with strict hygiene control measures, crop protection levels can be improved.

This paper breaks the issue down into several sections:

  • Significance of Halo Blight to Mungbean
  • Environmental Factors of Disease Development
  • Epidemiology of Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Diagnosis of the Halo Blight Pathogen
  • Management Strategies
  • Recommendations

The section on management strategies could be of particular interest to farmers dealing with this disease.

Final comment

Having the means to edit genomes directly with new technologies such as CRISPR will reduce the time from gene discovery to cultivars possessing traits such as resistance to P.savastanoi. But the authors also note that complementary strategies will need to be employed to control Halo Blight.


This paper was summarised by Mia Courtney (Agricultural Sciences Student – La Trobe University) and reviewed by Nickala Best (PhD Student – La Trobe University). Learn more about Mia and Nickala here.

2019 - Australia - Crop and Pasture Science - Thomas J. Noble, Anthony J. Young, Colin A. Douglas, Brett Williams, and Sagadevan Mundree
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