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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Fusarium Crown and Root Rot

Pathogen: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici

(Reviewed 1/07, updated 1/07)

In this Guideline:


Foliar symptoms on plants with Fusarium crown and root rot include yellowing along the margin of the oldest leaves, followed by necrosis. Dry brown lesions develop in the cortex of the tap or main lateral roots. A necrotic lesion may also develop on the surface of the stem from the soil line to 4 to 12 inches (10–30 cm) above it. Internally, a reddish brown or chocolate brown discoloration extends no more than 6 to 12 inches (15–30 cm) above the soil line. Infected plants may be stunted and wilted, and older plants may die.


The disease can occur in any of the California tomato-growing regions, but its occurrence is uncommon. It occasionally causes serious problems in greenhouses. In the field it causes economical damage near the coast, especially in Southern California. The fungus overwinters and survives for many years in the soil as spores. Long distance spread is by transplants and in soil on farm machinery. Spores are airborne in greenhouses. The disease is favored by cool soil temperatures. The host range of the pathogen includes some legumes, cucurbits, other solanaceous plants, and more.


In greenhouses, plant in steamed soil. In the field, planting disease-free transplants is the only recommended management practice for this disease.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Tomato
UC ANR Publication 3470
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
G. Miyao, UC Cooperative Extension, Solano/Yolo counties
K. Subbarao, USDA Agricultural Research Station, Salinas
J. J. Stapleton, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
Acknowledgments for contributions to the disease section:
B. W. Falk, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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