Chemical management of Fusarium wilt of watermelon Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Watermelon yield loss due to Fusarium wilt is increasing in the U.S., due in part to the emergence of the virulent race 2 of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum, and to the shift in production to triploid cultivars, which generally have less host resistance than previously grown diploid cultivars. One potential management strategy is the use of soil-applied fungicides to reduce Fusarium wilt. The U.S. national program, interregional project 4 (IR-4) supported multistate trials of soil-applied chemicals to manage Fusarium wilt of watermelon. Greenhouse trials were conducted in Maryland, Indiana and Georgia to test the efficacy of 14 chemicals on Fusarium wilt. Based on the performance of these chemicals in the greenhouse, six in Maryland and Delaware and eight in Indiana were selected for subsequent field evaluations. These chemicals were applied once, as a drench at planting, in field trials in Maryland, Indiana, and Delaware in 2008. The fungicides prothioconazole, acibenzolar-S-methyl, and thiophanate-methyl resulted in the greatest reduction in Fusarium wilt, and caused no phytotoxicity. In Maryland and Indiana in 2009, these chemicals were applied through the drip irrigation line alone and in combination, at 0, 2 and 4 weeks after planting. The experiment was repeated in 2010 in Maryland. Prothioconazole alone and in combination with acibenzolar-S-methyl or/and thiophanate-methyl resulted in the greatest decrease in the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) of Fusarium wilt of watermelon in Maryland in 2009. The same trend was observed in 2010 in Maryland where three of the prothioconazole treatments ranked the lowest of all treatments and prothioconazole in combination with thiophanate-methyl had significantly lower Fusarium wilt AUDPC compared to the non-treated control. All chemical applications except for acibenzolar-S-methyl in combination with prothioconazole reduced Fusarium wilt AUDPC in Indiana in 2009. Prothioconazole alone and prothioconazole in combination with thiophanate-methyl ranked lowest in Fusarium wilt AUDPC, although not significantly lower than most other treatments. These studies are the first to demonstrate that the soil-applied fungicides prothioconazole and thiophanate-methyl may provide an additional field management option for Fusarium wilt of watermelon.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Everts, K. L., Egel, D. S., Langston, D., & Zhou, X.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Everts, Kathryne L||Egel, Daniel S||Langston, David||Zhou, Xin-Gen

publication date

  • December 2014