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Fusarium wilt of hemp

Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cannabis


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Seedlings do not emerge (pre-emergent damping off), or wilt and fall over (post-emergent damping off). Symptoms in older plants begin as small, dark, irregular spots, initially appearing on lower leaves. Affected leaves suddenly become chlorotic. Wilt symptoms begin with an upward curling of leaf tips. Wilted leaves dry to a yellow-tan colour and hang on plants without falling off. Stems also turn yellow-tan. Cutting into wilted stems reveals a reddish-brown discolouration of xylem tissue. Pulled-up roots show no external symptoms. Barloy and Pelhate (1962) described the fungus wilting whole plants. Noviello and Snyder (1962) illustrated plants with only one side wilting. Dead plants may become partially enveloped in a white-pink mycelium. Surviving plants are stunted.


Fusarium wilt is a serious disease in eastern Europe, Italy and southern France. Extremely virulent strains reduce Cannabis survival by up to 80% (Tiourebaev et al., 1998).