, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 197-208

First online:

Pathogenicity of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cepae and its interaction with Pyrenochaeta terrestris on onion

  • August E. Kehr
  • , Muriel J. O'Brien
  • , Elmo W. Davis

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Onion breeding lines known to be resistant to Pyrenochaeta terrestris showed, in several locations, root-pruning symptoms that have been usually associated with only the action of P. terrestris. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae was invariably isolated from affected roots and the stem-plate area of these pink-root-resistant lines. Symptoms not commonly associated with the action of Fusarium, including darkening of dry scales of yellow bulbs and a reddening of scales of white bulbs, were noted. Controlled tests were conducted to establish (a) the pathogenicity of four isolates of F. oxysporum f. sp. cepae, (b) the reaction of onion breeding lines to inoculation at various temperatures with both the pink root and the Fusarium bulb rot organism, and (c) the pathogenic interaction of F. oxysporum f. sp. cepae with P. terrestris. The Fusarium isolates were pathogenic over a wide range of temperatures (20 to 38°C.). Host reaction to the organisms in combination depended on the level of susceptibility that was the greater to one or the other organism. Resistance to one did not markedly modify susceptibility to the other when both were present. Resistance to F. oxysporum f. sp. cepae was found in several onion lines.