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Fusarium spp. Causing Dry Rot of Seed Potato Tubers in Michigan and Their Sensitivity to Fungicides

December 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  12
Pages  1,767 - 1,774

E. Gachango, Department of Plant Pathology, L. E. Hanson, Department of Plant Pathology and United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, and A. Rojas, J. J. Hao, and W. W. Kirk, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824

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Accepted for publication 23 June 2012.

A survey of seed potato tubers in Michigan seed production storage facilities was carried out during 2009 and 2010. Fusarium spp. associated with tuber dry rot symptoms were identified to species and tested for sensitivity to difenoconazole, fludioxonil, and thiabendazole. Symptomatic tubers (n = 370) were collected from a total of 51 seed lots, from which 228 isolates of Fusarium were recovered and identified to 11 species. Fusarium oxysporum was the most commonly isolated species (30.3%), followed by F. equiseti (19.3%). F. sambucinum and F. avenaceum were third most prevalent (each at 13.6%). Less prevalent species (each at 4 to 10%) included F. cerealis, F. solani, and F. acuminatum; and species present at ≤3% included F. sporotrichioides, F. torulosum, F. tricinctum, and F. graminearum. Representative isolates of all species were pathogenic when inoculated onto seed tubers (‘Dark Red Norland’). Isolates of F. sambucinum were the most virulent. All 228 isolates of Fusarium were sensitive to difenoconazole (effective fungicide concentration that caused 50% inhibition of mycelial growth [EC50] < 5 mg/liter). Insensitivity to fludioxonil (EC50 > 100 mg/liter) was detected only for F. sambucinum and F. oxysporum isolates at 8.9 and 20.4%, respectively. All isolates were sensitive to thiabendazole (EC50 < 5 mg/liter), except for those of F. sambucinum (EC50 > 100 mg/liter). Therefore, knowledge of what Fusarium spp. are present in seed potato storage facilities in Michigan may be important if using fludioxonil or thiabendazole for seed piece treatment but not when using difenoconazole.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society