Main content area

Fusarium wilt of cotton: Management strategies

Cianchetta, Amanda N., Davis, R.M.
Crop protection 2015 v.73 pp. 40-44
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum, Fusarium wilt, chlamydospores, cultivars, financial economics, fumigation, fungi, hosts, industry, inoculum, roots, seed cotton, seed treatment, soil, soil solarization
Cotton is a globally important crop used for both its natural fiber and seed. Fusarium wilt, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum, is a major disease of cotton capable of causing significant economic loss. The fungus persists in soil as chlamydospores and in association with the roots of susceptible, resistant and non-cotton hosts as well as in seed. Management of Fusarium wilt is difficult and most successfully achieved through the use of resistant cultivars and pathogen-free cotton seed. Once inoculum has been introduced into the field, strategies such as soil solarization and fumigation are applied to manage inoculum levels. While experimentally successful, these techniques are of limited use in a commercial setting. Management of Fusarium wilt will continue to rely upon the development of new resistant cultivars. Additionally, understanding the mechanism of seed colonization and developing high throughput seed treatment and testing protocols will allow the industry to effectively avoid the introduction of inoculum.