Root rot is an emerging disease of grafted watermelon in China that causes severe yield losses. The causal agents associated with this disease were characterized in this study. A total of 70 fungal isolates were recovered from infected roots, and the most prevalent isolates were identified as Fusarium oxysporum (31% of isolates recovered). F. oxysporum isolates induced typical root rot disease symptoms in pathogenicity tests, whereas the other isolates were nonpathogenic. On the basis of combined DNA sequence analyses, specific pathogenicity tests and root rot symptoms, the F. oxysporum was identified as F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lagenariae. We evaluated 37 bottle gourd rootstocks for resistance to F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lagenariae. The mean disease rating scores (DRSs) ranged from 1.1 to 4.0 at 20 days after inoculation. The rootstock 16S-71 was most resistant to infection. These findings provide useful information for the development of bottle gourd rootstocks with resistance to fusarium root rot and to manage this disease.
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This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20171323), the National Industrial Technology System for Watermelon & Melon. Title: Breeding of Grafting Rootstocks for Watermelon & Melon (CARS-25), and the Earmarked Fund for Jiangsu Agricultural Industry Technology System (JATS254).
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Primers used for pathogen identification (DOCX 13 kb)
Sequence alignment of Fusarium oxysporum root rot (this work, accession No. MT229320) with sequences of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (EU588397.1), Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Lagenariae (AY354398), Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum (DQ452450), Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. luffae (AY354399.1) and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis (AY188919). Black regions correspond to nucleotides that are conserved among sequences. (JPG 5400 kb)
Sequence alignment of Fusarium oxysporum root rot (this work, accession No. MT229320) with sequences of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (EU588397.1), Fusarium verticillioides (JX915249), Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Lagenariae (AY354398), Fusarium solani (L36616.1), and Stagonosporopsis cucurbitacearum (KF386571). Black regions correspond to nucleotides that are conserved among sequences. (JPG 6053 kb)
Phenotype of bottle gourd rootstocks inoculated with Fo-5. 16S-71 and 16S-84 are the two moderate resistant accessions with DRS less than 2. 16S-69 is randomly selected as a representative of light resistant accessions (DRS =3.0) and 16S-45 as susceptible accessions (DRS = 4.0). (JPG 2071 kb)
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Zhang, M., Yang, X., Xu, J. et al. Characterization of Fusarium root rot disease in grafted watermelon. Eur J Plant Pathol 159, 1–11 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-020-02013-w