Diversity for redlegged earth mite cotyledon resistance within subterranean clover and annual medics

Phillip G.H. Nichols1,2, Parwinder Kaur1, David Peck3, Bradley J Wintle1,2, Mario D’Antuono4 and William Erskine1

1School of Agriculture and Environment and Institute of Agriculture, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth WA 6009, www.uwa.edu.au, phillip.nichols@uwa.edu.au

2Formerly Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth WA 6151

3South Australian Research and Development Institute, GPO Box 397, Adelaide SA 5001

4Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth WA 6151


Redlegged earth mites (RLEM) are a major pest of subterranean clover and annual medics, particularly during seedling establishment. Five new subterranean clover cultivars have recently been released with improved resistance, but all annual medic cultivars are previously reported as susceptible. This paper reports on glasshouse experiments that found wide diversity for RLEM cotyledon resistance among the 97-member core collection of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum), representing ~80% of the total diversity within the species, and 48 cultivars. Diversity for resistance was also found among 153 annual medic lines in 11 different Medicago species, including 36 cultivars. The detection of new sources of RLEM cotyledon resistance will assist breeders to develop subterranean clovers and annual medics with improved resistance.



The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

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