Phomopsis sclerotioides

Black root rot of cucurbits


Phomopsis sclerotioides is a plant pathogen infecting cucurbits, causing black root rot of cucurbits.

Life cycle and appearance of Black root rot of cucurbits

Phomopsis sclerotioides survives in the soil and is a strong saprophytic competitor, which means it can rapidly colonize ‘clean’ or sterilized soil and substrate. It aggregates, so disinfection needs to be applied thoroughly and evenly. Phomopsis sclerotioides forms sclerotia which can survive adverse conditions for years in the soil, but little else is known about the life cycle. The fungus is dispersed by water, air and soil particles.

How to control Black root rot of cucurbits

How to prevent Black root rot of cucurbits

  • Test for the presence of Phomopsis sclerotioides with molecular tools before planting
  • Use resistant rootstock of Cucurbita ficifolia
  • Apply steam sterilization to the soil/substrate
  • Fumigation with soil disinfectants is only effective when applied evenly
    Note: since this fungus can rapidly re-colonize the soil/substrate, disinfection should be applied at least annually
  • Disinfect nutrient solution and irrigation water

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