Occurrence of Fusarium Wilt of Basil in the United States. Robert L. Wick, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01033. Patricia Haviland, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01033. Plant Dis. 76:323. Accepted for publication 2 October 1991. Copyright 1992 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-76-0323B.
During 1990 and 1991, severe losses occurred in several crops of
hydroponically grown basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) at one location
and outdoors at another location in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
The foliage of affected plants remained green but wilted. Stems had
external elongated brown cankers and a discolored vascular system.
Isolations from affected tissues yielded Fusarium oxysporum
Schlechtend.:Fr. Pathogenicity of a selected isolate was tested by
wounding roots of 3-wk-old basil transplants and dipping them in
an aqueous suspension of 3 X 104 spores per milliliter. Ten plants
were inoculated and 10 served as controls. Fifteen days later, all
inoculated plants were severely stunted and wilted, and several had
elongated brown cankers. F. oxysporum was recovered from each
inoculated plant and from one asymptomatic control plant. Fusarium
wilt of basil was first described in Russia in 1957, Italy in 1976, and
France in 1982 (2). In Russia, the disease was reported to be borne
by soil, seeds, and transplants (1).