Spartacus leaf tipping

  • Beacon
  • Hines Hill
  • Merredin
  • Nungarin
  • Mt Hampton
Leaf tipping on Spartacus barley
Leaf tipping on Spartacus barley. Photo courtesy of: Geoff Thomas (DPIRD).

Plant pathologist Geoff Thomas (DPIRD) reports finding Spartacus leaf tipping in Spartacus barley crops around Beacon.

Plant pathologist Kylie Chambers (DPIRD) has also reported similar symptoms in Spartacus crops at Hines Hill, Nungarin and Mt Hampton. It is also visible in barley trials near Merredin.

This concurs with recent reports on Twitter of Spartacus leaf tipping symptoms occurring on crops in the northern wheatbelt this season.

Distinctive yellow leaf with dark discolouration which is a symptom of Spartacus leaf tipping
Distinctive yellow leaf with dark discolouration which is a symptom of Spartacus leaf tipping. Photo courtesy of: Geoff Thomas (DPIRD).

Symptoms show as yellow tipped leaves, usually restricted to one or at most two leaves on a plant, in mid-canopy of plants at tillering to stem extension. There is usually a dark discolouration on the yellowed leaf which might be confused with net or spot form net blotch or nutritional deficiency. Affected plants may be either sporadically or commonly distributed throughout a crop and can easily be detected by the distinctive yellow leaves.

These symptoms have been reported in previous seasons in Spartacus crops in WA and the eastern states and appear to occur in a range of crop situations.

Plant pathologist Andrea Hills (DPIRD) has previously reported these symptoms in 2019 on the south coast of WA in the closely related barley variety La Trobe as well.

Laboratory testing has failed to detect a pathological cause of these symptoms and they do not appear to multiply up the canopy of an affected plant or crop. In DPIRD trials where leaf tipping has occurred, fungicide treatment has not changed the incidence or severity of this symptom.

It is unlikely that any intervention is needed in affected crops and plants appear to grow away from the affected leaves during the season.

For more information read Intergrain’s Barley News article Funny things happening in Spartacus CL barley – “Spartacus leaf tipping”

For more information contact Plant Pathologists Geoff Thomas, South Perth on +61 (0)8 9368 3262, Ciara Beard, Geraldton on +61 (0)8 9956 8504, Kylie Chambers, Northam on +61 (0)8 9690 2151. Kithsiri Jayasena, Albany on +61 (0)8 9892 8477 or Andrea Hills, Esperance on +61 (0)8 9083 1144



Article author: Geoff Thomas (DPIRD South Perth).