Graduate Research Assistant
Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology
Statistical Consultant, College of Agricultural and Natural Resources Statistical Consulting Service, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824
Growth chamber, greenhouse, and field experiments were conducted with fungicides and biological control agents, including nonpathogenic isolates of Fusarium oxysporum, to test their ability to control disease caused by F. oxysporum f. sp. asparagi and F. proliferatum. In greenhouse studies with asparagus seedlings in soil, Trichoderma harzianum strain T-22, benomyl, and fludioxonil treatments increased root weight and decreased root disease compared with the infested control when a low level of F. oxysporum f. sp. asparagi and F. proliferatum was used. The fungicide fludioxonil limited plant death caused by Fusarium spp. at high inoculum levels, whereas T. harzianum strain T-22 was not effective. Nonpathogenic isolates of F. oxysporum were effective in limiting Fusarium disease on asparagus seedlings in culture tubes, although isolates differed in their ability to control disease caused by F. oxysporum f. sp. asparagi and F. proliferatum. In greenhouse studies, no significant differences in plant death were found between asparagus plants growing in media infested with F. oxysporum f. sp. asparagi and F. proliferatum and left untreated, and those treated with nonpathogenic F. oxysporum. The efficacy of fungicides and biological control products to control Fusarium crown and root rot under commercial field conditions could not be evaluated due to low disease pressure.