Plant Pathology Herbarium

The Plant Pathology Herbarium host Australia’s largest collection of plant pathogens found in tropical and subtropical regions.

What we do

We support sustainable primary industries by providing solutions for:

  • market access
  • biotechnology
  • production research
  • extension services
  • natural-resource management.

We also:

  • identify and classify new and emerging plant pathogens
  • validate molecular methods used in nationally endorsed diagnostic protocols
  • develop multi-access interactive identification keys
  • develop training courses and run workshops for particular groups of plant pathogens.

We may also be able provide the following specialist services:

  • validating and updating plant disease records for trade and market access
  • providing cultures of fungi for agricultural and biotechnology industries
  • rehabilitating and/or incorporating collections of micro-organisms
  • developing innovative products for plant disease diagnosis
  • training in plant health
  • preparing distribution maps, illustrations and descriptions of important fungi.

Herbarium specimens are used:

  • as reference material in routine identification of plant diseases
  • for research into the classification of new fungal plant pathogens
  • to provide plant-disease lists and information in relation to market access and quarantine issues.

Through our online databases, we also provide on-line information about Queensland fungi to worldwide users.

History of the herbarium

The Plant Pathology Herbarium (BRIP) was established in about 1901. Its collections of Queensland microfungi date back to the 1850s. In 1966 the herbarium was given the abbreviation BRIP. This abbreviation has official status as it was first listed in Index Herbariorum, Sixth Edition in 1974. It’s not an acronym but is derived from the words Brisbane and pathology.

Included in the collection

BRIP holds more than 50,000 specimens, representing almost all known plant-pathogenic microfungi in Queensland.

The collection consists of 2 parts, a:

  • herbarium, where dead, dried, and pressed specimens are kept in packets
  • culture collection, where living cultures are preserved in small ampoules.

The specimens include:

  • specimens of plant-pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses, and viroids
  • dried plant and fungal tissue
  • dried fungal cultures
  • microscope slides
  • notes and disease records

photographs and digital images.plant-pathogenic The collection details for each specimen are kept on a database. This means information can be quickly accessed without having to search through physical specimens. The collection details include important information, such as the:

  • name of the host plant
  • name of the pathogen
  • location and date of collection
  • who collected it.

The database makes it possible to quickly generate distribution maps of particular plant pathogens and lists of pests present in Queensland on particular hosts. The database also holds images of disease symptoms and photomicrographs of many of the pathogens.