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Disease Note.

Wilt of Chickpea in Tunisia Caused by Verticillium albo-atrum. H. M. Halila, Food Legume Laboratory, I.N.R.A.T., 2080 Ariana. M. M. Harrabi, Plant Breeding Laboratory, I.N.A.T., 42 Avenue Charles Nicolle, Tunis, Tunisia. Plant Dis. 71:101. Accepted for publication 1 October 1986. Copyright 1987 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-71-0101E.

Routine surveys of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) production areas in northern Tunisia showed a yearly increase in the incidence of wilt. Although wilt of chickpea in North Africa and Asia is usually caused by Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht. emend. Snyd. & Hans. f. sp. ciceri, wilted plants from 64% of the infested fields in Tunisia were positive for Verlicillium albo-alrum Reinke & Berth. Pathogenicity was confirmed by the water and pot culture methods developed by Nene et al (2). Symptoms included yellowing of the lower leaves, followed by necrosis and dropping of the leaflets and ultimately plant death; vascular discoloration was associated. This is only the second report of V. albo-atrum causing wilt in chickpea; the first was from southern California in 1958 (1). Screening for resistance to this fungus is under way, and resistant lines have already been identified.

References: (1) D. C. Erwin. Plant Dis. Rep. 42:1111, 1958. (2) J. Nene et al. ICRISAT Inf. Bull. 10, 1981.