Commonly found throughout the United States, Fusarium wilt is a soil-borne pathogen that attacks potato, tomato, eggplant and pepper plants. Disease fungi (Fusarium oxysporum) enter through the roots and interfere with the water conducting vessels of the plant. As the infection spreads up into the stems and leaves it restricts water flow causing the foliage to wilt and turn yellow.
Symptoms first appear as a slight yellowing of foliage and wilting of upper leaves. As wilting progresses, leaves may turn dull-green to brown and remain attached to the plant. When the stem and roots are cut diagonally, reddish-brown streaks are visible in the vascular tissues.
Signs and symptoms:
- Initially, plants wilt during the hottest part of the day and recover at night.
- Leaflets turn yellow on one side of the plant, or even just leaflets on one half of a compound leaf.
- The entire plant soon turns yellow and wilts. Browning of leaves occurs rarely.
- Peel the epidermis off the lower stem to see dark red and brown discolored vascular tissue.
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