Fusarium oxysporum

Fusarium wilt


Fusarium is a group of soil-borne fungi with many different species. Fusarium is widespread and can infect a range of host crops. Many species are considered weak pathogens and can only infect wounded or stressed host plants.

Life cycle and appearance of Fusarium wilt

Fusarium oxysporum has many different formae speciales which are each selectively pathogenic on a limited number of crops. Even within one crop, different formae speciales may occur and cause different symptoms. Fusarium oxysporum is the only Fusarium that actually grows inside the vessel system of the host plant and spreads upwards inside the plants. The other species are dispersed upwards on the outside of the plant.

Most Fusarium species only make asexual spores. Some also produce ascospores. The Fusarium oxysporum life cycle, is similar to that of most Fusarium species. Fusarium overwinters for many years in the soil and on crop residues of infected plants as chlamydospores (thick walled mycelium cells) or mycelium. Survival is also possible on seed, greenhouse structures, tools and machinery. Primary infection is either seed-borne or takes place as infection of the roots at the root tip or in small wounds, for example where lateral roots branch off from the tap root.

How to control Fusarium wilt

How to prevent Fusarium wilt

  • Remove or destroy crop residues
  • Choose resistant cultivars
  • Use clean propagation materials (seed can be treated effectively with hot water)
  • Use clean substrate in greenhouse crops
  • Disinfect tools, machinery and irrigation water in greenhouses
  • Prevent stress for the plants
  • Ensure there is adequate soil drainage
  • Apply nitrogen in the form of nitrate instead of ammonium
  • Prevent damage during harvest and during post-harvest storage and enhance wound healing after harvest, depending on the crop

Prevent plant diseases by optimizing plant potential and crop resilience.