Corky Root Rot in Ontario tomatoes. Janice LeBoeuf Vegetable Crop Specialist OMAFRA, Ridgetown

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1 Corky Root Rot in Ontario tomatoes Janice LeBoeuf Vegetable Crop Specialist OMAFRA, Ridgetown

2 Vine Decline Syndrome Poor growth and early decline of foliage has been observed in some fields for several years No clear diagnosis had been made These symptoms were widespread and severe in 2009 in Essex and Kent; not as severe in most affected fields in 2010

3 Above-ground symptoms Early to mid-season Stunted slow growing plants (in some fields) Often patchy Fruit set/fruit sizing Yellowing of foliage, often patchy Die-back from tips of leaves, branches In severe cases, death of most foliage well before scheduled harvest date; associated loss of fruit quality

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8 Many adventitious roots from crown Loss of small roots Below-ground symptoms Smooth, brown lesions; brown bands around roots; cracking, swelling Outer tissue of root rots, falls off; vascular bundle (inner core) of root intact Extensive rotting of entire root system

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12 Healthy plant Healthy plant

13 Healthy plant

14 The Pathogens Dr. Jim Traquair and his team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON isolated fungi from the root samples (4500 isolates), identified the purified isolates based on colony morphology and sporulation, verified the identifications using PCR Microsclerotia Information, photos from Dr. Jim Traquair, AAFC, London, ON

15 The Pathogens Identified three fungi that cause the corky root (brown root banding) symptoms: Pyrenochaeta terrestris Pyrenochaeta lycopersici Rhizopycnis vagum Also associated with the corky root rot symptoms: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici (brown root rot) Colletotrichum coccodes (black dot root rot) Information from Dr. Jim Traquair, AAFC, London, ON

16 Biology of the Corky Root Pathogens Pyrenochaeta terrestris prefers warm temperatures (infection min 16 up to C) and has wide host range (survival) on tomato, onion, corn, soybean, wheat, melon, pepper, egg plant, carrot, spinach, strawberries, and nightshade weeds; Rhizopycnis vagum likes warm temperatures and attacks tomato, melon, cucumber, Amaranthus weeds, sugarcane, and corn; Pyrenochaeta lycopersici prefers cool temperatures and attacks tomato, pepper, eggplant, melon, spinach, cereals, nightshade, and Jimson weed; Brassicaceous crops are less susceptible to root infection (isothiocyanates) Information from Dr. Jim Traquair, AAFC, London, ON

17 Corky Root Symptoms of brown banding on roots can be found across the processing tomato growing area Haven t sampled extensively in fresh market growing areas, but looked in a few fields and did not find symptoms

18 Numerous Projects in 2009 and 2010 Project Project team (funding) Year; Location Informal survey of vine decline sites Culture-based identification of corky root rot in processing tomatoes Assessing biofumigant cover crops: practicality, effectiveness, impact on soil health Survey for vine decline in Ontario processing tomato J. LeBoeuf, OMAFRA; Tomecek Ag. Services; J.A. Traquair and B.L. Singh, AAFC London; C. Trueman, Ridgetown Campus J.A. Traquair and B.L. Singh, AAFC London; J. LeBoeuf, OMAFRA; C. Trueman, Ridgetown Campus A. Verhallen, OMAFRA; J. LeBoeuf, OMAFRA (OMAFRA Environmental Sustainability Research Program) J.A. Traquair, AAFC London; J. LeBoeuf, OMAFRA; K. Conn, AAFC London; P. Abbasi, AAFC London; K. Wang, A&L Canada Labs (OTRI) 2009; fields across Essex and Kent sampled for pathogens (fungal, bacterial, nematodes) 2009; AAFC-London (samples from fields across Essex, Kent) ; commercial fields 2010; AAFC-London (samples from fields across Essex, Kent) cont d

19 Numerous Projects in 2009 and 2010 Project Project team (funding) Year; Location Prelim. investigations into the ecology and management of pathogenic organisms contributing to vine decline in Ontario processing tomatoes Advancing the competitiveness of Ontario s processing tomato industry by piloting innovative solutions to emerging root disease pressures causing vine decline C. Trueman, Ridgetown Campus; K. Conn, AAFC London; J.A. Traquair, AAFC London (OTRI, OMAFRA-Univ. of Guelph) S. Loewen, Ridgetown Campus; G. Lazarovits, A&L Biologicals Agroecology Research Services (Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, OTRI) 2010; lab, greenhouse, micro-plots, commercial field 2010; lab, field

20 Work in progress Understanding the fungal pathogens involved Improving detection; potential for pre-screening fields Examining interactions between the corky root pathogens, other pathogens, other factors Looking for tolerance in the tomato germplasm Investigating soil biology and beneficial microbes that could suppress the disease Investigating fumigation, biofumigation, SAR products Investigating the role of nematodes* Management practices: crop rotation/cover crops, organic amendments (manure, compost, green manure),??? * * If funding available

21 Coordinated Research Effort Dr. Ken Conn (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London) Dr. Jim Traquair (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London) Cheryl Trueman (Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph) Steve Loewen (Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph) Dr. George Lazarovits (A&L Biologicals Agroecology Research Services, London) Anne Verhallen (OMAFRA, Ridgetown Janice LeBoeuf (OMAFRA, Ridgetown) Tomecek Agronomy Services (Chatham) Funding from processors and growers (OTRI), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, OMAFRA/University of Guelph, Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Council In-kind contributions from growers, processors, agribusiness

22 Thank you! Questions?

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