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Management of Fusarium wilt in bunching spinach production in Ontario, Canada

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Title: Management of Fusarium wilt in bunching spinach production in Ontario, Canada
Author: Collins, Brian
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: McDonald, Mary Ruth
Abstract: Fusarium wilt, caused by the pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. spinaciae, is a significant constraint to the summer production of bunching spinach in Ontario, Canada. Trials were conducted to: determine the range of spinach cultivar susceptibility, screen biological and synthetic fungicides for efficacy, and assess soil amendments and fumigants for the suppression of spinach Fusarium wilt. Most spinach cultivars have a basal level of resistance but none tested was immune. None of the 23 biological/synthetic fungicides tested was capable of effectively suppressing Fusarium wilt. Applications of synthetic fumigants (chloropicrin, dazomet, and metam sodium), as well as high rates of slow-release urea fertilizer, suppressed Fusarium wilt incidence and severity in field trials. Synthetic fumigants reduced the population of the pathogen in the soil, but only chloropicrin reduced the pathogen below detectable levels and prevented spinach vascular discolouration. These findings provide potential management strategies for spinach producing regions with warm summer temperatures.
Date: 2016
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