Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Lupinosis, Diaporthe woodii, Lupins, Plant breeding, Disease resistance

First Page Number


Last Page Number





Attemots to control lupinosis in sheep have been thwarted by the unpredictable occurence of the disease in the field. The complex interaction of the toxin-producing fungus (Phomopsis leptostromiformis) with its host (the lupin plant), together with variable weather and paddock grazing conditions, have made it difficult to predict when stock are in danger of contracting the disease. The risk of lupinosis discourages many farmers from growing lupins, despite the many potential benefits of including them in crop rotations.

A team of Department of Agriculture plant breeders, plant pathologists, and animal scientists set out in the mid 1970s to find resistance to the Phomopsis fungus in lupins. Their goal was to find resistance that prevented the fungus from colonising and producing toxin in lupin stubbles. A decade of work has culminated in the development of lupin breeding lines with low visible symptoms of Phomopsis in the stubble and, most importantly, low stubble toxixity. This article summarises the long-term research programme.