University of California

Hot-Water treatment of gladiolus cormels for the eradication of Fusarium oxysporum f. gladioli


Chester N. Roistacher
Kenneth F. Baker
J. G. Bald

Authors Affiliations

Chester N. Roistacher was Senior Laboratory Technician, Agricultural Experiment Station, Los Angeles, now Principal Laboratory Technician, Department Plant Pathology, Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside; Kenneth F. Baker was Plant Pathologists, Agricultural Experiment Station, Los Angeles; J. G. Bald was Plant Pathologists, Agricultural Experiment Station, Los Angeles.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 26(17):659-684. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n17p659. September 1957.

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An obstacle to the use of pathogen-free gladiolus corms as a primary disease control is the universal contamination of commercial varieties, which makes it very difficult to obtain such clean stock by simple selection. As Buxton (1955a)4 has pointed out, “Once the Fusarium has become established in a stock of corms by infection from the soil, eradication is almost impossible.” However, two alternative methods remain for obtaining clean stock: 1) New pathogen- and virus-free varieties may be developed from seed. This is a slow and expensive procedure, even when the factor of actual resistance is not involved. 2) Methods may be devised for commercially freeing present varieties from the major pathogens. Some studies with this promising approach are presented in this paper. Of course, with either method, it is necessary to protect the stock from reinfection.

Of the available means for completely freeing planting stock of disease organisms, treatment with chemicals has not been effective because many of the pathogens are carried internally in deep lesions or in the vascular elements. Heat therapy has been investigated by several workers with little success. (Massey (1916)) found that tube cultures of the hard-rot fungus (Septoria gladioli Pass.) and dry-rot fungus (Stromatinia gladioli (Drayt.) Whet.) were killed at about 122° F for 10 minutes, and that medium-size corms were not materially harmed by dry heat of 122° F for 90 minutes, or by hot water of 122° F for 30 minutes. However, when corms with dry rot and hard rot were treated as above on the day they were dug, neither pathogen

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Roistacher C, Baker K, Bald J. 1957. Hot-Water treatment of gladiolus cormels for the eradication of Fusarium oxysporum f. gladioli. Hilgardia 26(17):659-684. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n17p659
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