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  • Author or Editor: Brent K. Harbaugh x
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Fusarium crown and stem rot, caused by Fusarium avenaceum, is a serious disease of lisianthus, Eustoma grandiflorum Raf. (Shinn.). While more than 80 new cultivars of lisianthus have been released for sale in the United States in the past decade, there is a lack of information on their susceptibility to this pathogen. Forty-six cultivars of lisianthus were evaluated for resistance to F. avenaceum. Cultivars were grouped according to blue/purple, pink, or white colors and evaluated within their color class. Although all cultivars evaluated were susceptible to F. avenaceum, partial resistance was observed as indicated by differences in the length of time to symptom expression and in the frequency of diseased plants. `Ventura Deep Blue' and `Hallelujah Purple' (25%) in the blue group, `Bridal Pink' (23%) in the pink group, and `Heidi Pure White' (53%) in the white group had the lowest frequency of diseased plants at 55 days after inoculation. In 21 of the 46 cultivars, 80% to 100% of the plants expressed symptoms at 55 days after inoculation. Screening cultivars for resistance to F. avenaceum is the first step to breeding and developing resistant cultivars. These results also can be useful to growers who could select cultivars that express some level of resistance as an aid in management of this disease until more resistant cultivars are released.

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