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POSTERS: Chemical control

Chemical control of sudden decline syndrome of date palm caused by Fusarium solani in the United Arab Emirates
Khaled Abbas El-Tarabily - United Arab Emirates University. Aisha Alblooshi- United Arab Emirates University, Khawla Alwahshi- United Arab Emirates University, Synan Abuqamar- United Arab Emirates University, Essam ElDin Saeed- United Arab Emirates University, Marwa Alblooshi- United Arab Emirates University

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) trees in the UAE suffer from serious disease called sudden decline syndrome (SDS) or Fusairum wilt which is characterized by whitening on one side of the rachis, progressing from the base to the apex of the leaf until the whole leaf dies. The internal disease symptoms is characterized by reddish roots and highly colored vascular bundles causing wilting and death of the tree. Three Fusarium spp. (F. oxysporum, F. proliferatum and F. solani) were isolated from infected root tissues, and it was found that F. solani was the main causal agent of SDS on date palm in the UAE. These three species were identified based on their cultural, morphological characteristics and in addition the internal transcribed spacer regions and large subunit of the ribosomal RNA (ITS/LSU rRNA) gene complex of the pathogens was further sequenced. Pathogenicity tests confirmed that the main causal agent of SDS on date palm in the UAE was F. solani. Under greenhouse conditions the application of Cidely® Top (difenoconazole and cyflufenamid) significantly reduced the fungal mycelial growth in vitro and reduced SDS development on date palm seedlings pre-inoculated with F. solani. Affected plants that were treated with Cidely® Top clearly showed vegetative growth recovery and developed healthy root system comparable to control plants with no prior artificial infection. This current study is the first report confirming that the fungicide Cidely® Top is strongly effective against SDS and can be used to control this disease on date palm trees.