Diagnosing barley stripe

A very rare fungal disease that is most often found in irrigated barley.


Yellow stripes that turn brown and eventually die.
Dying leaves tend to split and fray along the stripes
Leaves die
Heads often fail to emerge properly

What to look for


  • Yellow stripes on the base of leaves that extend, turn dark brown, and eventually die.
  • Dying leaves tend to split and fray along the stripes leading to a shredded appearance.
  • Symptoms occur on the second or third leaf of seedlings then each subsequent leaf.
  • Infected plants are stunted and heads often fail to emerge or emerge twisted and brown.

What else could it be

Condition Similarities Differences
Diagnosing yellow dwarf virus Linear yellow lines on leaves Leaves on barley yellow dwarf virus affected plants don't split and it occurs in patches on all soil types

Where did it come from?

Contaminated seed
Contaminated seed
  • Barley stripe is a seed-borne disease that initially infects seedlings.
  • Once established it grows systematically throughout the plant.
  • Initially it is spread by rain splash at temperatures below 10°C. However once established in heads, air-borne spores travel to other plants spreading the infection. This requires long periods of high humidity and temperatures of 10-33 °C.

Management strategies

Clean seed
Clean seed
Seed treatment
Seed treatment
Resistant varieties
Resistant varieties
  • Use clean seed from uninfected crops.
  • Some chemical seed treatments provide good control.
  • Avoid known susceptible varieties if problems occur.

Where to go for expert help

DDLS Seed Testing and Certification
+61 (0)8 9368 3721
Page last updated: Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 4:08pm