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Thomas R. Gordon, Dorothy Okamoto, Andrew J. Storer, and David L. Wood

Pitch canker, caused by Fusarium subglutinans f. sp. pini, causes branch die-back and stem cankers in many species of pine. Monterey pine (Pinus radiata D. Don), one of the most widely planted pines in the world, is extremely susceptible to pitch canker. Four other pine species, which might serve as alternatives to Monterey pine in landscape settings, were found to be relatively resistant, based on the size of lesions resulting from branch inoculations under greenhouse conditions. Of these species, Japanese black pine (P. thunbergiana Franco) was the most resistant, followed by Canary Island pine (P. canariensis Sweet ex K. Spreng), Italian stone pine (P. pinea L.), and Aleppo pine (P. halepensis Mill.). Consistent with these findings, a field survey conducted in Alameda County, Calif., revealed Monterey pine to have the highest incidence of infection, with significantly lower levels in Aleppo, Canary Island, and Italian stone pines. Japanese black pine was not observed in the survey area.

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F.A. Buffone, D.R. LaBonte, and C.A. Clark

Chlorotic leaf distortion is a common disease of sweetpotato caused by Fusarium lateritium. This fungus is unique among Fusarium species in that it grows epiphytically on leaves and shoot tips of sweetpotato. Fusarium lateritium mycelia appear as white masses on leaves, and this fungus can cause chlorosis under periods of bright sunlight. When environmental conditions are not favorable for growth, this organism is not readily observed on sweetpotato. The objective of this research was to see if DNA of F. lateritium is amplified using PCR techniques during amplification of sweetpotato DNA. Our results show cTAB extracts of sweetpotato inoculated with F. lateritium have additional bands not present in a control free of F. lateritium. Furthermore, these bands correspond to banding patterns obtained from the F. lateritium isolate DNA when amplified alone. Researchers who use sweetpotato tissue in PCR-based research, e.g., phylogenetic research, should be aware of these amplified products. This situation is further compounded because numerous F. lateritium biotypes are present in the environment.

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Matthew D. Robbins, Mikel R. Stevens, Gennaro Fazio, and Gennaro Fazio

Fusarium crown and root rot (crown rot) develops on tomato from the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL). Genetic resistance to crown rot was previously introduced into the cultivated tomato from the wild species Lycopersicon peruvianum and found to be a single dominant gene, Frl, on the long arm near the centromere of chromosome 9 of the tomato genome. In an effort to identify molecular markers tightly linked to the gene, Ohio 89-1 Fla 7226, Fla 7464, `Mocis', and `Mopèrou', lines homozygous for Frl (resistant), were screened with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers in comparison to Fla 7482B and `Monalbo', lines homozygous for Frl + (susceptible). Frl was determined to be between the RFLP markers CT208 and CD8. These two markers are separated by a genetic map distance of 0.9 cM according to Pillen et al. (1996). In addition, we screened a pool of eight resistant plants against a pool of nine susceptibles from a BC1 population segregating for Frl for amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Fazio et al. (1998) previously determined that crossover events occurred in these 17 plants between Frl and a rapid amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker, UBC194. Our research has indicated that UBC194 is also between CT208 and CD8 on the centromeric side of Frl. Of the 62 AFLP primer combinations tested, 34 showed more than 63 strong polymorphisms in linkage to resistant phenotypes.

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Ray D. Martyn, C. M. Rush, E. A. Dillard, and D. H. Kim

Twenty isolates of Fusarium oxysporum recovered from diseased sugar beet and spinach (Chenopodiaceae) or red-root pigweed (Amaranthaceae) were examined using pathogenicity, isozyme, and mtDNA RFLP markers to determine genetic similarity among isolates from different hosts. Pathogenicity tests defined several levels of host specificity. Most isolates were specific to their original host; however, a few primarily were pathogenic to their original host but also caused some wilt on other hosts. Two isolates were pathogenic on all three hosts and six were not pathogenic to any of the hosts. Differences in isozymes and mtDNA RFLPs corresponded with differences in pathogenicity. Three main polymorphic groups based on host specificity were identified along with three sub-groups corresponding to aggressiveness of the isolates. These data suggest that while most isolates display a high degree of host specificity isolates exist within the population that lack such specificity and cross over to other species.

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Robert Wick

Several biological control agents for the control of fungal diseases have recently been commercialized. Do the claims of pest control meet the expectations of the growers? Do the biocontrol agents perform consistently? How do they compare to chemicals? These questions have yet to be answered but recent trials indicate mixed results. In Massachusetts, Mycostop worked well against fusarium stem rot but not against fusarium wilt. Deny (Burkholderia cepacia) did not perform well against Rhizoctonia or Pythium root rot of poinsettia. The following information was taken from the 1997 and 1998 Biological and Cultural Tests for Control of Plant Diseases. In Maryland, zinnia damping-off was controlled by both SoilGard (Gliocladium virens) and Bio-Trek (Trichoderma harzianum). The biocontrols performed as well as the conventional fungicide. In North Carolina, GlioGard (Gliocladium virens) and SoilGard gave only partial control against Pythium and Rhizoctonia damping-off of bedding plants. In Pennsylvania, Greygold (mixture of four microorganisms) did not provide adequate control of Botrytis on geranium. In Georgia, Pythium and Rhizoctonia diseases of a variety of plants were evaluated with SoilGard and RootShield (Trichoderma harzianum). Disease pressure was low and the results varied from inconclusive to both positive and negative. In addition, SoilGard apparently reduced fresh weight of several plant species. RootShield was reported to both increase root weight in one case and decrease root weight in another. In Connecticut, Rhizoctonia root rot of poinsettia was not significantly suppressed with SoilGard, RootShield, or Earthgro, a suppressive growing medium. However, the authors stated that the results indicated that the biocontrols had promise. Results of additional trials will be presented.

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J.R. Bohac, P.D. Dukes, A. Jones, J.M. Schalk, H.F. Harrison Jr., S.C. Charleston, and M. G. Hamilton

Carolina Bunch is a sweetpotato cultivar that combines high yield, excellent flavor and appearance with multiple pathogen and pest resistances. It is ideal for home or market gardens, because of its short vine and bunch habit that allow for production of high yields in a limited space. The roots are fusiform with uniform shape and a smooth, bright, light copper skin and dark orange flesh. When baked, the roots have a smooth texture and are sweet, moist and have excellent flavor and appearance. This sweetpotato can be grown virtually without pesticides. It has very high levels of resistances to southern root knot and other species of nematodes, Fusarium wilt, feathery mottle virus, sclerotial blight in plant beds, and Streptomyces soil rot. It has good resistance to many soil insects including several species of wireworm, Diabrotica, Systena, and flea beetles. In the southern US, it yields better than `Jewel' in a growing season of 110-120 days. Foundation roots are available in limited quantities from South Carolina Foundation Seed Association, Inc, 1162 Cherry Hill Rd, Clemson SC 29634-0393.

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R. Garca-Estrad, J. Siller-Cepeda, M. Bez, M. Muy, and E. Araiza

On Sinaloa State, tomato growers test new varieties every year looking high yield, better quality and long shelf life. However, few studies are done to know the resistance to postharvest diseases. The objective was to identify postharvest pathogens that infect this new tomato varieties with characteristics rin, nor or normals (BR84, S211, S69, and S121). Fruits in two stages of maturity (pink and red) were harvested and stored under simulated marketing conditions (20°C and 80% RH). Pathogens found were aisled on PDA and identified under microscope. Different chemicals were tested to control pathogens [NaOCl; Ca(OCl)2; Supersana; iodine; Citrucidal; Captan; and water]. Six fungus species—Alternaria alternata, Fusarium oxysporium, Rhizopus stolonifer, Colletotrichum sp., Rhyzoctonia sp, and Phomopsis sp—were found on all varieties. BR84 fruit (rin type) harvested on pink stage were more resistant than red ones. S69 fruit (nor type) were more susceptible at the pink than at the red stage. S121 fruits (normal type) were equally susceptible at both stages of maturity. Least resistant variety to fungus infection at both stages of maturity was S211 (rin type). Citrucidal and Ca(OCl)2 gave the best control.

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J.K. Peterson and H.F. Harrison Jr.

Sweetpotato resin glycosides were purified by HPLC methods. Most allelopathic potential could be explained by these compounds. Fifty percent inhibition (I50) of seed germination was obtained for redroot pigweed at 160 ppm, for velvetleaf at 13 ppm and for prosomillet at 11 ppm. Seed of the congeneric species I. purpurea was not sensitive. Growth of yellow nutsedge was drastically reduced, the I50 for shoot growth was 30 ppm, for number of roots 36 ppm, and for total root length 19 ppm. The glycosides accounted for approximately half of the total fungicidal activity of all extract fractions when tested on Fusarium oxysporum pv. batatae. At 2 mg per ml, the glycosides inhibited hyphal growth by 31%. This concentration is less than 10% of the glycoside concentration in dry periderm tissue of `Regal'. The purified glycosides were incorporated into a meridic diet for diamondback moth larvae. All observed antibiosis was caused by the glycosides; the LD50 was 7.2 mg per ml diet. At that concentration the surviving larvae showed a weight decrease of 46%.

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Georges T. Dodds, J. Wyatt Brown, and Pamela M. Ludford

Chilling of mature-green (MG) tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. and related species) was investigated to determine the effect of chilling stress on surface color during low-temperature storage. Color measurements were made with a tristimulus calorimeter (L, a, b values), and data were analyzed by multivariate analysis of variance and canonical variates analysis. Changes in surface color of MG fruit during chilling were not correlated overall with relative chilling sensitivity of cultivars/lines; however, within standard and cherry types, chilling-tolerant fruit changed surface color more during chilling than chilling-sensitive fruit when fruit were picked early in the season. Early harvests were less chilling-sensitive than late harvests. The number of hours below 15.6C in the 200 hours before harvest was positively correlated with postharvest chilling sensitivity. A high vs. ambient relative humidity during storage did not affect chilling-induced percent change in color. Tobacco mosaic virus resistance led to less and Verticillium albo-strum Reinke & Berthier resistance led to more chilling-induced color change. There was no effect from resistances to Fusarium oxysporum Schlechtend f. sp. lycopersici (Sacc.) W.C. Snyder & H.N. Hans, alternaria stem canker (Alternaria solani Sorauer), anthracnose [Colletotrichun coccodes (Wallr.) S.J. Hughes], root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood), Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) deBary, or Stemphylium botryosum f. sp. lycopersici Rotem, Cohen, & Wahl. Our results show harvest date had an effect on chilling-induced changes in surface-color in MG fruit.

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Dorcas K. Isutsa and Ian A. Merwin

We tested 40 seedling lots and 17 clonal accessions—representing 941 genotypes and 19 species or interspecific hybrids of Malus—for their resistance or tolerance to apple replant disease (ARD) in a mixture of five New York soils with known replant problems. Total plant biomass, root necrosis, root-infesting fungi, and root-lesion nematode (RLN; Pratylenchus penetrans Cobb) or dagger nematode (DN; Xiphinema americanum Cobb) populations were evaluated in apple seedlings and clones grown for ≈60 days in the composite soil. In addition to phytophagous nematodes, various Pythium, Cylindrocarpon, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora species were isolated from roots grown in the test soil. Plant growth response was categorized by a relative biomass index (RBI), calculated as total plant dry weight in the pasteurized field soil (PS) minus that in an unpasteurized field soil (FS), divided by PS. Nematode reproduction on each genotype was defined by a relative reproduction index (RRI), calculated as final nematode populations in roots and soil (Pf) minus initial soil populations (Pi), divided by Pi. The RBI, RRI, and other responses of accessions to ARD soil were used to rate their resistance, tolerance, or susceptibility to apple replant disease. None of the accessions was completely resistant to ARD pathogens in our test soil. Seedling accessions of M. sieversii Roem. and M. kirghisorum Ponom. appeared to have some tolerance to ARD, based upon their low RRIs and RBIs. Three clonal rootstock accessions (G.65, CG.6210, and G.30), and four other clones (M. baccata Borkh.—1883.h, M. xanthocarpa Langenf.—Xan, M. spectabilis Borkh.— PI589404, and M. mandshurica Schneid.—364.s) were categorized as tolerant to ARD. The disease response of other accessions was rated as susceptible or too variable to classify. We concluded that sources of genetic tolerance to ARD exist in Malus germplasm collections and could be used in breeding and selecting clonal rootstocks for improved control of orchard replant pathogens.