Fusarium wilt has become a significant disease concern of strawberry. This soilborne fungus can persist in the field for extended periods and under certain environmental conditions can result in the death of large numbers of plants. Like most Fusarium wilt pathogens, the isolates that cause Fusarium wilt of strawberry have a strong host preference to strawberry and typically do not cause wilt disease on other crops. Likewise, the Fusarium wilt pathogens of lettuce, celery, cilantro, and other coastal crops for the most part do not cause Fusarium wilt in strawberry.

Researchers have developed sensitive DNA-based methods to detect the strawberry Fusarium wilt pathogen in plants and soil. The isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay is used to rapidly detect this pathogen in strawberry plant samples. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay can detect this pathogen in soil samples. Both assays are used by TriCal Diagnostics. Information on both RPA and qPCR methods is available by clicking on the download button below. First author Alyssa Burkhardt is the molecular specialist with TriCal Diagnostics.

Reference: Plant Disease 103:1006-1013. Prepared by Steve Koike and Alyssa Burkhardt.

Fusarium wilt of strawberry can be very severe and cause plant collapse and death.
Darkly discolored crowns are one symptom of Fusarium wilt of strawberry.

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