Diseases have a detrimental effect on plants and animals and impact on market access and agricultural production. Diseases include micro-organisms, disease agents (bacteria, fungi and viruses), infectious agents, parasites and genetic disorders.

Western Australia is free from some of the world's major agricultural and livestock diseases. Biosecurity measures on your property are vital in preventing the spread of diseases.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides:

  • biosecurity/quarantine measures at the WA border to prevent the entry of plant and animal diseases
  • post border biosecurity measures for harmful animal and plant diseases
  • advice on widespread diseases present in the state.

For advice on animal and plant diseases search our website, the Western Australian Organism List or contact our Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS).

For diagnostic services, please contact our Diagnostic Laboratory Services.


  • Stem rot sclerotes packed inside infected lupin stems

    Two fungi which cause similar diseases referred to as sclerotinia white mould are Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Sclerotinia minor.

  • Infected plants are covered with a white powdery film

    Powdery mildew Erysiphe pisi is rarely seen in the field in Western Australia. Warm humid conditions favour its growth late in the season.


  • Reddish-brown lesions on the hypocotyl

    Strains of the soil-borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani that cause hypocotyl rot in all lupin species and most other crop and pasture legumes in WA.

  • Plants infected as seedlings are spindly with multiple tillers

    Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) is a seed and mite-borne virus that infects cereals (including wheat and barley) and grasses.

  • Eutypa dieback is caused by the fungus Eutypa lata which is a prohibited organism in Western Australia. It is a major trunk disease of grapevines that reduces yields and kills the vine.

  • Indefinite areas of yellow then straw-coloured lesions on the leaf,stem, and tendrils

    Septoria leaf blotch Septoria pisi is a minor disease that is widespread in Western Australia.

  • Rotted roots

    Root rots caused by Fusarium spp, Pythium spp and Phytophthora spp are major problems in some regions of the eastern states, particularly where crops are grown on stored soil mois

  • Fluffy mouse-grey spore masses on the leaf underside

    Low levels of downy mildew Perenospora viciae are sometimes noticed in field pea crops late in winter, but crops usually grow away from it during the longer warmer spring days.

  • Leaf spots that turn yellowish and later brown and papery

    Bacterial Blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv.pisi) is rarely seen in Western Australia.

  • Mild chlorosis and mosaic vein clearings: PSbMV

    It can be difficult to distinguish plant disease symptoms caused by viruses in pea plants, as viral foliage symptoms are often similar to those caused by nutritional deficiencies, herbicide damage

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