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You don’t have to be a scientist to get involved in our research! The CCDM currently coordinates Citizen Science project Mildew Mania. Watch this space for other community initiatives.

Mildew Mania!

Mildew Mania is a citizen science research project where schools help CCDM scientists investigate the spread of barley powdery mildew disease across Western Australia. Since its launch in 2011, this on-going state-wide experiment has engaged over 14,000 students from more than 170 schools.

In WA, barley yield losses to powdery mildew have been estimated at $30 million annually. Mildew Mania gathers powdery mildew samples on barley grown by schools across WA in order to investigate this disease. With information gained from the distribution and genetics of these samples, CCDM researchers aim to give plant breeders and growers the tools they require to control this disease.

School classes can register online to get involved and are sent experimental kits, including an information booklet, barley seeds and sampling equipment. The classes grow the barley and if they catch any mildew on their plants, they are then asked to take a photo, a leaf and a swab sample, and post it to our researchers. Curtin scientists record the distribution and sequence the mildew’s DNA to look for known fungicide resistant genes. These results are then sent to schools for them to study.

For more information or to get involved, visit the Mildew Mania website at www.mildewmania.com.au

Students involved in Mildew Mania (Credit: Clarisa Collis, GRDC Ground Cover)