WECKERT, Melanie

Melanie Weckert

Research interests

  • The role of nursery practice (fungal contamination of propagation material) and soil in the decline of young grapevines in Riverina vineyards.
  • Vineyard soil health and microbial biodiversity under different cover crop and floor management practices.
  • Grapevine root mycorrhizal fungi.
  • The role of phosphate solubilising fungi in plant nutrition.
  • Bacterial inflorescence rot (BIR) in cool climate viticulture caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae.
  • Allelopathy by some vineyard cover crops may affect grapevine health and growth.

Background

Melanie Weckert was appointed to NSW Agriculture* in 2002 as a Research Plant Pathologist/Soil Microbiologist at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGVIC), Wagga Wagga.

Prior to this position (as Melanie Whitelaw) she was a Wine Science Teaching Fellow at the School of Wine Sciences and then Viticulture Lecturer at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. Prior to this Melanie’s research was based on soil phosphate solubilising fungi and wheat.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW, and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.

Qualifications

  • B.Sc. Chemistry, Charles Sturt University - 1985
  • Grad. Dip. Education, Hawthorn Institute - 1986
  • PhD Charles Sturt University - 1999

Current projects

  • Soil biology leader of the Wine Australia project:” The development of a low-input under-vine floor management system which improves profitability without compromising yield or quality
  • Coordinator of  the Bacterial Inflorescence Rot (BIR) project, Tumbarumba.

Recent publications

Hall SJ, Dry IB, Blanchard CL, Whitelaw-Weckert MA, 2016.  Phylogenetic relationships of Pseudomonas syringae pv syringae isolates associated with Bacterial Inflorescence Rot in Grapevine. Plant Disease 100, 607-616.

Waite H, Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Torley P, 2015. Grapevine Propagation: Principles and Approaches for the Production of High Quality Grapevine Planting Material. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 43, (1) 1-18.

Rahman L, Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Orchard B, 2014.  Impact of organic soil amendments, including poultry litter biochar, on nematodes in a Riverina, New South Wales, vineyard. Soil Research 52, (6) 604-619.

Kanse OS, Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Kadam TA, Bhosale HJ, 2014.  Phosphate solubilization by stress-tolerant fungus Talaromyces  funiculosus SLS8 isolated from the Neem rhizosphere. Annals of Microbiology 65, (1) 85-93

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Rahman L, Appleby LM, Hall A, Clark AC, Hardie WJ, Waite HL, 2013. Co-infection by Botryosphaeriaceae and Ilyonectria spp.Fungi During Propagation Causes Decline of Young Grafted Grapevines. Plant Pathology 62, 1226-1237

Waite H, Gramaje D, Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Torley P, Hardie WJ, 2013.  Soaking grapevine cuttings in water: a potential source of cross contamination by micro-organisms. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 52, 359-368.

Rahman L, Orchard B, Whitelaw-Weckert M, Hutton RJ (2012).  Susceptibility of Vitis vinifera cv ‘Semillon’ and ‘Chardonnay’ to the root knot nematode M. javanica. Vitis 51 (1) 19-26

Rahman L, Whitelaw-Weckert MA (2011) Consecutive applications of brassica green manures and seed meal enhances suppression of Meloidogyne javanica and increases yield of Vitis vinifera cv Semillon. Applied Soil Ecology 47, 195-203.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Whitelaw ES, Rogiers SY, Quirk L, Clark AC, Huang CX (2011). Bacterial inflorescence rot of grapevine caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. Plant Pathology 60, 325-357.

Rahman L, Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Hutton RJ, Orchard B (2009). Impact of floor vegetation on the abundance of nematode trophic groups in vineyards. Applied Soil Ecology 42, 96–106.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Nair NG, Lamont R, Alonso M, Priest MJ and Huang R (2007) Root infection of Vitis vinifera by Cylindrocarpon liriodendri in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 36, 403-406.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Rahman L, Hutton R Coombes N (2007) Permanent swards increase soil microbial counts in two Australian vineyards. Applied Soil Ecology 36, 224-232.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA (2009) Biological control of Cylindrocarpon spp. on grapevine roots. Proceedings of the Fifth Australasian Soilborne Diseases Symposium. Thredbo, NSW, 5-7th February 2009.

Rahman L, Whitelaw-Weckert MA (2009) Association of pathogenic fungi and pest nematodes with young vine decline in Riverina of NSW. Proceedings of the Fifth Australasian Soilborne Diseases Symposium. Thredbo, NSW, 5-7th February 2009.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA (2008) Interactions between Cylindrocarpon macrodidymum, Streptomyces sp. MW555 and Vitis vinifera.  International Conference on Biotic Plant Interactions, Brisbane 27-29th March.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Rahman L, Hutton R, Coombes N (2007) Permanent swards increase soil microbial counts in two Australian vineyards. Applied Soil Ecology 36, 224-232.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Nair NG, Lamont R, Alonso M, Priest MJ and Huang R (2007) Root infection of Vitis vinifera by Cylindrocarpon liriodendri in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 36, 403-406.

Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Curtin S, Huang R, Steel CC, Blanchard CL and Roffey P (2007) Phylogenetic relationships and pathogenicity of grape isolates of Colletotrichum acutatum in sub-tropical Australia. Plant Pathology 56, 448-463.
Whitelaw-Weckert MA, Sergeeva V, Priest MJ (2006)Botryosphaeria stevensiiinfection of Pinot Noir grapevines by soil/root transmission.Australasian Plant Pathology35, 369-371.

Rogiers SY, Whitelaw-Weckert M, Radovanonic-Tesic M, Greer LA, White RG, Steel CC (2005) ‘Effects of spray adjuvants on grape (Vitis vinifera) berry microflora, epicuticular wax and susceptibility to infection by Botrytis cinerea.’ Australasian Plant Pathology 34, 221-228.

Whitelaw-Weckert M, Hutton R, Rouse E, Lamont R (2004) ‘The effect of herbicides and permanent swards on soil microbial populations in the vineyard.’ In Supersoil 2004: Program and Abstracts for the 3rd Australian New Zealand Soils Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, 5 – 9 December 2004. (Ed Singh, B) ISBN (Handbook) 1 920842 25 X; ISBN (CD) 1 920842 26 8; ISBN (Web) 1 920842 27 6 www.regional.org.au/au/asssi/supersoil2004

Whitelaw-Weckert M (2004). ‘In vitro inhibition of grapevine root pathogens by vineyard soil bacteria and actinomycetes’, in Ophel Keller, K M and Hall, B H (eds), Proceedings of the Third Soilborne Diseases Symposium. South Australian Research and Development Institute, Adelaide, pp.129-130.

Melksham KJ, Weckert MA and Steel CC (2002) ‘An unusual bunch rot of grapes in sub-tropical regions of Australia caused by Colletotrichum acutatum’, Australasian Plant Pathology, 31, 193-194.

Whitelaw MA (2000) ‘Growth promotion of plants inoculated with phosphate solubilising fungi,’ Advances in Agronomy, 69, 99-151 (Review paper).

Whitelaw MA, Harden TJ and Helyar KR (1999) ‘Phosphate solubilisation in solution culture by the soil fungus Penicillium radicum,’ Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 31, 655-665.

Hocking AD, Whitelaw MA and  Harden TJ  (1998) "Penicillium radicum sp. nov. from the rhizosphere of wheat," Mycological Research 102, 801-806.

Whitelaw MA, Harden TJ and Bender GL (1997) “Plant growth promotion of wheat inoculated with Penicillium radicum sp. nov.,” Australian Journal of Soil Research 35, 291-300.

Robards K and Whitelaw MA (1986) "Chromatography of monosaccharides and disaccharides" Journal of Chromatography, 373, 81-110 (Review paper).

Contact details

Email: melanie.weckert@dpi.nsw.gov.au