Common root rot

Common root rot


  • The fungus survives on the roots of grasses and as dormant spores in the soil.

  • It can build up to damaging levels in continuous wheat rotations. 


  •  Pale, stunted plants with few tillers and small seed heads.

  • Browning of roots and sub-crown internode 

  • Blackening of sub-crown internode in extreme cases.


  • Common root rot seems to cause minimal yield loss


Rotations with non-host crops such as legumes, canola or grass-free pastures lower the spore population in the soil and tend to reduce disease incidence. However the disease is quite persistent in the soil and a break of one year might not be enough to avoid crop damage.

Links and Resources

DAFWA - Common root rot

What to look for, where did it come from, and how is it treated.

Victorian winter crop summary 2014 - Common root rot

Table 6: Wheat disease guide. Page 11. Causal organism, symptoms, occurrence, inoculum source, and control. Updated annually.