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.


  • 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

  • Stunted plants in distinct patches

    Rhizoctonia bare patch ( Rhizoctonia solani ) occurs on most soil types throughout the wheatbelt and causes similar patches in all crop and pasture species.

  • Hypocotyl and roots can both be affected

    Strains of the soil-borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani that causes both hypocotyl and root rot.

  • Collar rot fungal web spreading between plants

    Sclerotinia collar rot is caused by the fungus Sclerotinia minor and should not be confused with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum , which causes a stem rot higher up the plant.

  • Dark target-like lesions

    A dark-spot forming fungal disease that is mainly a problem in wet warm spring weather.

  • Large elongated mid-brown blotches surrounded by a margin of chlorotic tissue

    A fungal foliar disease caused by Pyrenophora wirreganensis that primarily infects a range of grasses and can be found on paddock and road verges in spring.

  • Roots of affected plants are blackened and brittle and break easily, and are black to the core not just on outer surface.

    A fungal root disease that can cause severe yield losses of wheat and barley especially in medium- to high-rainfall areas.


  • Pustules become black in colour towards the end of the season.

    Stem rust is a fungal foliar disease of wheat that can cause up to 90% yield loss and also reduces grain quality in susceptible varieties.

  • Tan-brown oval or irregular shaped leaf blotches with narrow yellow margins.

    A stubble borne foliar fungal disease caused by Parastagonospora nodorum (previously Phaeosphaeria nodorum, synonyms Stagonospora nodorum; Septoria nodorum).  Oc

  • Leaves have small brown spots 1-4 mm with dark brown rims and pale brown centres.

    A foliar fungal disease of cereals that can occur throughout the Western Australia wheatbelt but is unlikely to affect grain yield.


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