Wilting disease of plants is caused by the fungus fusarium oxysporum. It is a soil-borne disease in various plants. Fusarium oxysporum is a wide range of host-pathogen. It can cause disease in plants at any stage from small to young plants. It can cause serious disease in 20 economical crops: Chilli, tomato, green- and black gram, citrus, banana, cucurbits, groundnut, potato etc.
Favourable Conditions for Fusarium Wilt Fusarium Wilt thrives at warm soil temperatures and can live indeterminately in soil without any damage or access to living plants. As a result, the eradication of this disease is currently impossible. Once it’s in the soil, it can remain for decades. Various types of acidic soils, sandy soils and light soil use of nitrate (NO3) based fertilizers and their presence in plant-parasitic nematodes, such as root-knot nematodes, support the development of Fusarium Wilt. On the other hand, the expression of symptoms is most severe in warm and in dry periods of the season, when most of the plant’s need for water increases.
Damage Symptoms Fusarium oxysporum
Fusarium oxysporum includes many different species, which usually produce symptoms in plants such as wilting, necrosis, chlorosis, leaf drop before maturation and vascular system browsing. The most common symptom is wilting, which can cause massive losses.
Mode of infection
There are two basic types of spread: Distributionover long distances through infected Seeds and plant transplants. 2nd Distribution is short distances distribution through water drop splashes and planting equipment used in planting different plants, and. Fusarium oxysporum infects a healthy plant with germinating spores or mycelium that penetrate root tips, lateral or root wounds roots of the plant. when the plant dies, Plant fungus penetrates all tissues, sporulates the plant tissue and continues to infect neighbouring plants.
Preventative Measures for Fusarium oxysporum
- Completely remove/destroy crop residues and affected plants
- Purchase resistant seed varieties/transplants
- Crop rotation must be after 3-5 years.
- Use clean propagation materials (read more about hot water treatment)
- Disinfect tools, machinery and irrigation water (here is some information on-farm hygiene)
- Ensure that there will be proper soil drainage
- In the form of Nitrate apply nitrogen fertilizer instead of ammonium
- Fumigate the infected soil with hydrogen peroxide and keep the pH of the soil at 6.5- 7.
Biological Control of Fusarium oxysporum
The fungus Trichoderma viride and Trichoderma harzianum are proven the biocontrol agents to control this disease in an environmentally friendly way. Bacteria like Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis work as a catalyst for Trichodermaviride and also control some species of nematodes.
- Mix 2 kg/Acr each of bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma viride, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Trichoderma harzianum, in 200 kg of farmyard manure separated, from each other.
- Cover them with gunny bags and keep them for 7 days.
- Moisten these gunny bags slightly every day so that they can reproduce rapidly.
- Mix all these four batches together with FYM or compost on the 8th day.
- Spread the mix all over the field.
- 4 to 5 gm per kg of seeds as per standard wet treatment.
- Seedling root dipping: at 10 gm per litre prior to planting.
- After planting: Alternately use 1 kg each of Trichoderma sp + Pseudomonas & amp; Trichoderma sp + Bacillus at an interval of 8 days.
Chemical Control There is no chemical control measure that completely eliminates a Fusarium infection, but some can stop an infection for up to a few days by using various fungicides. However, this control measure only makes sense for short-duration cultures. Prothioconazole is the only commercially available fungicide with proven efficacy. Azoxystrobin, prothioconazole and thiophanate-methyl led to the highest values for reduction of Fusarium wilt and did not cause phytotoxicity in watermelons
Dr Amjad Abbas (Associate professor) and Ahsan Shabbir
University Of Agriculture Faisalabad
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