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Contamination of Asparagus Seed by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. asparagi and Fusarium moniliforme. Debra Ann Inglis, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, 99164. Plant Dis. 64:74-76. Accepted for publication 12 March 1979. Copyright 1980 American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-64-74.

Assays of Washington-produced asparagus seed revealed both Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. asparagi and F. moniliforme. A small percentage of F. oxysporum f. sp. asparagi may infect seeds internally, but the pathogen is primarily an external seed contaminant. F. moniliforme is present externally in the natural crevices of the seed coat or in the cavities of seed damaged by asparagus beetles. Infestation occurs when the seed is extracted from the berries. Wash water contaminated by diseased host tissue may contain several thousand conidia of F. moniliforme per milliliter. The surface of an asparagus seed is rough, and fungal spores are trapped in natural crevices or insect tunnels.

Keyword(s): scanning electron microscopy.