Blackleg disease on oilseed Brassica in Australia: a review Academic Article uri icon


  • Blackleg, caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans, is the major disease of canola (Brassica napus) in Australia. The development of blackleg-resistant B. napus varieties has been a major factor in the resurgence of the industry nationwide. The main sources of resistance used in Australian public breeding programs are Japanese spring varieties and French winter varieties. In these programs, all early generation material is screened in field blackleg nurseries sown on, or adjacent to, infested canola stubble from the previous season. Little is known about the genetic control of resistance, and the mechanisms responsible for generating pathogenic variability of L. maculans isolates in Australia is largely uncharacterised. Australian B. napus varieties are the most blackleg-resistant spring varieties in the world. Apart from growing blackleg-resistant varieties, other strategies that minimise infection and delay any breakdown in varietal resistance include growing canola on the same area only once every 3 years, destroying stubble, and eradicating volunteer plants between cropping seasons. Additionally, strategic use of chemicals can provide effective control to supplement varietal resistance in areas prone to severe blackleg infestation.


  • Salisbury, PA
  • Ballinger, DJ
  • Wratten, N
  • Plummer, KM
  • Howlett, BJ

publication date

  • 1995