Race 3, a New and Highly Virulent Race of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum Causing Fusarium Wilt in Watermelon. Academic Article uri icon


  • Three races (0, 1, and 2) of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum have been previously described in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) based on their ability to cause disease on differential watermelon genotypes. Four isolates of F. oxysporum f. sp. niveum collected from wilted watermelon plants or infested soil in Maryland, along with reference isolates of races 0, 1, and 2, were compared for virulence, host range, and vegetative compatibility. Race identification was made on the watermelon differentials Sugar Baby, Charleston Gray, Dixielee, Calhoun Gray, and PI-296341-FR using a root-dip, tray-dip, or pipette inoculation method. All four Maryland isolates were highly virulent, causing 78 to 100% wilt on all differentials, one of which was PI-296341-FR, considered highly resistant to race 2. The isolates also produced significantly greater colonization in the lower stems of PI-296341-FR than a standard race 2 reference isolate. In field microplots, two of the isolates caused over 90% wilt on PI-296341-FR, whereas no disease was caused by a race 2 isolate. All four isolates were nonpathogenic on muskmelon, cucumber, pumpkin, and squash, confirming their host specific pathogenicity to watermelon. The Maryland isolates were vegetatively compatible to each other but not compatible with the race 2 isolates evaluated, indicating their genetic difference from race 2. This study proposes that the Maryland isolates belong to a new race, race 3, the most virulent race of F. oxysporum f. sp. niveum described to date.

published proceedings

  • Plant Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, X. G., Everts, K. L., & Bruton, B. D.

citation count

  • 78

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, XG||Everts, KL||Bruton, BD

publication date

  • January 2010