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


Dane Panetta


Emex australis, Biological control agents, Phomopsis, Western Australia

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Doublegee (Emex australis) is one of the worst agricultural weeds in Western Australia. To date, however, biological control of this weed has proved elusive. Multiple releases of two weevils which attack doublegee have not led to insect establishment. For one of these species, further research has shown that doublegee control would probably not be achieved in the wheatbelt even if insect establishment were enhanced by growing its host during the summer months. A joint Western Australian Department of Agriculture/ CSIRO project is investigating the virulence and host specificity of an undescribed South African species o/Phomopsis fungus. Should this pathogen prove suitable for importation and release, it may contribute to doublegee control in pastures, especially in conjunction with competition from other plants.