Fungi and oomycetes in open irrigation systems: knowledge gaps and biosecurity implications

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Plant Pathology, p.n/a - n/a (2014)



Water used for the irrigation of plants has the potential to harbour and spread plant pathogens yet little research is conducted within this field. This review was undertaken to critically review our understanding of water-borne fungal and oomycete plant pathogens in open irrigation systems, particularly in the context of plant biosecurity. It was determined that very limited data exists on these plant pathogens, with the majority of previous studies only recording pathogen presence. There are significant gaps in our knowledge of pathogen survival and spread, and very limited information on their ability to cause disease when contaminated irrigation water is applied to crops. This review has highlighted the need for new research on the epidemiology and pathogenicity of putative plant pathogens isolated from water, in order to determine their risk to crops. The importance of regular monitoring of irrigation systems for the early detection of plant pathogens is also discussed.