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The Effect of pH on Spore Germination, Growth, and Infection of Strawberry Roots by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae, Cause of Fusarium wilt of Strawberry

Gordon, T. R., Stueven, M., Pastrana, A. M., Henry, P. M., Dennehy, C. M., Kirkpatrick, S. C., Daugovish, O.
Plant disease 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 697-704
Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium wilt, acid soils, cultivars, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, fungal growth, pH, plant pathogenic fungi, root diseases, roots, spore germination, strawberries, California
Previous work has shown that raising the pH of acidic soil to near neutrality can reduce the incidence of Fusarium wilt. The basis for this effect has not been established. The present study assessed effects of pH on spore germination, growth, and infection of strawberry roots by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae, the cause of Fusarium wilt of strawberry. There was not a significant effect of pH (5 versus 7) on the rate of spore germination at either 20 or 25°C for any of the three tested isolates (one representative of each clonal lineage of F. oxysporum f. sp. fragariae found in California). Likewise, pH did not have a significant effect on fungal growth at 20°C. At 25°C, two isolates grew faster at pH 7 than at pH 5. Growth of the third isolate was unaffected by the difference in pH. For the strawberry cultivar Albion, the frequency of root infection was significantly higher for plants grown in acidified soil (near pH 5) than for plants grown in soil near neutrality. The higher frequency of root infection in acidified soil was associated with a lower level of microbial activity, as measured by hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate.