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From the pathology bench - Fusarium spp.

Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News No. 64, June 1997.

We have had a number of queries recently about the various roles of species of Fusarium. Although they are most commonly encountered in the forestry diagnostic laboratory in isolations from nursery seedlings and soils, Fusarium species are found on many substrates and causing a range of different conditions. In coniferous nurseries they may cause seed rot, damping-off, root rot, stem rot and top blight. Fusarium oxysporum and F. solani are the two primary pathogens in this environment but they may be accompanied by other, more or less, pathogenic species. Douglas fir is particularly susceptible to Fusarium and is more often affected with top blights and stem infections than the pine species grown in New Zealand nurseries. Other diseases caused by Fusaria include wilts (eg panama disease of bananas caused by F. oxysporum), stem and branch cankers (eg pitch canker of pines caused by F. subglutinans f. sp. pini ) and dieback (eg dieback of gorse caused by F. tumidum). Fusaria are also involved in diseases of animals and man, and as storage rots may produce toxins which contaminate human and animal food. In our general diagnostic work we frequently isolate Fusarium species from material with some other clearly recognisable disease or condition - where they are probably either entirely secondary or participating as a minor pathogen. They turn up reasonably often in samples of radiata material with a variety of conditions, and are carefully identified to species (a process which may take up to 4 weeks as some of the structures crucial for accurate identification take that length of time to form in culture) because of the concern over pitch canker.

(Margaret Dick, FRI)

This information is intended for general interest only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific specialist advice on any matter and should not be relied on for that purpose. Scion will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, loss of profits, or any other intangible losses that result from using the information provided on this site.
(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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