Managing pests and diseases for the mushroom industry

Dr Warwick Gill is a leading authority on mushroom diseases.

October 15th was National Mushroom Day and in celebration of all things mushrooms, we are featuring Tasmania’s Institute of Agriculture (TIA)’s mushroom expert Dr Warwick Gill. Over the last five years, Warwick Gill and Judy Allan have been creating an exhaustive and detailed body of knowledge for the Australian mushroom industry. The team has researched and collated information on mushroom pests and pathogens, including how to recognise, treat and manage them. 

Like all crops, mushrooms are affected by pests and diseases. However, mushrooms can be more vulnerable because they lack protective skins, as well as the defence compounds often produced by plants. Moreover, treating disease with fungicide is clearly problematic for a fungus!

One of the key activities of the project team has been to maintain and update the AGORA website, making it the central library of mushroom pest and disease information. Hundreds of resources are available, including both locally produced fact sheets and articles and publications from around the world. There are also videos of sampling methods, treatments, and pest and disease identification. Having all this information available through AGORA has helped numerous farms manage their way through serious fungus diseases.

Read more about the research here!