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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
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Fusarium wilt on Passion Fruit

Recognize the problem

Fusarium wilt sickness is caused by a fungus. The fungus infects the plant through the roots and then travels up the plant stem.
The sickness also known as "collar rot" shows itself as yellowing of leaves followed by complete death of the plant.
Initially, Infection causes the base of the stem to swell and cracks appear. On close observation of the sick stem, the parts of the stem which feed the plant show brown discolouration.

Background

The germ is both seed-borne and soil-borne and can live in the soil for many years. Infestation by root-knot nematodes allows the germ to get inside the plant. The germs also get into the farm through farm tools, stacking materials and shoes.
The germ does not like yellow passion and its hybrids. The sickness is favoured by warm weather.

Management

Non-chemical control
  • Join (graft) yellow passion fruit rootstock and purple passion (scion). Yellow passion is resistant to the disease.
  • Avoid planting where severe fusarium wilt has been detected within the last three years.
  • Field hygiene should also be practiced, by uprooting the affected plants and burning them.
  • Control root-knot nematodes as well as weeds.
  • Avoid cutting sick plants and then using the same knife on healthy plants.
  • Use a biopesticide like Trichoderma spp. which is a fungal opponent.
Scientific name(s) > Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. passiflorae

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Australia, Kenya, South Africa

Authors: This factsheet is based on information written for "The Passion Fruit Farming Handbook", first published by KENGAP HORTICULTURE, 2011.
Kengap Horticulture Ltd, P.O Box 12898-00400 Nairobi, Kenya
tel: +254 722 575544; +254 723 491549 email: books@kengap.co.ke; www.kengap.co.ke
Edited by
Plantwise
Created in Kenya December 2012