Collecting and submitting samples

Found rust? How to prepare samples for dispatch

The Australian Cereal Rust Survey is funded through grower levies and via the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). There is no cost to you for submitting a sample for analysis. Reply paid envelopes are available. The better the sample you collect and the more information you provide on the dispatch form, the easier it will be for the Australian Cereal Rust Survey to provide you with an answer. It will also assist in understanding pathotypes and geographic distribution of rust in a particular season. Play your part in national rust management and assist the Australian grain industry by sending good samples .

Here’s how to collect a good sample:

  • Ensure active rust infection. It is important that the sample material is actively sporulating. When you wipe over a leaf or stem with a clean white cloth, you should see yellow, brown or black dust-like smearing. If you are going to apply an in-crop fungicide, collect a sample first!
  • Collect a sufficient sample.
  • Collect material while the leaves and stems are not wet.
  • Record the GPS location of the sample, preferably with latitude and longitude in decimal degrees.

A bad sample, which has an insufficient sample size, low infection levels or is stale, is more likely to have lower spore germination and is likely to fail testing. Samples from early in the season are also critical as they could allow the early detection of a new pathotype. Growers can then be alerted during the season on the distribution of different rust species and pathotypes which can facilitate more targeted monitoring advice.

Sending your sample and keeping it fresh:

  • Fold leaves infected with rust in half from top to bottom so the rust is on the inside.
  • Place straight stems and/or folded leaves into paper envelopes – do not use plastic wrapping or plastic lined packages.
  • If you are sending multiple types of rust samples at once, place each in a separate paper envelope.
  • Complete a dispatch form for each sample with geo-referencing for mapping and epidemiological modelling.
  • Contact the Plant Breeding Institute and they will send some Reply Paid envelopes to send your samples in. Alternatively, you can use the address below and follow the above guidelines to send a sample.
Send samples to:
University of Sydney
Australian Rust Survey
Reply Paid 88076
Narellan NSW 2567