First report of Fusarium foetens in the Czech Republic
The NPPO of the Czech Republic recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Fusarium foetens (EPPO A2 List) on its territory. The presence of the fungus was confirmed in October 2013 in a glasshouse nursery producing potted plants of begonias (Begonia x hiemalis) located in the district of Opava, Moravian-Silesian region. During summer 2013, the grower contacted the NPPO because of the rapid wilting and dying of begonia plants. Samples were collected and tested by the NPPO, and on 2013-07-22 cultivation tests indicated the possible presence of F. foetens. The pathogen was subsequently identified by means of PCR and sequence analysis, and these results were confirmed by the National Reference Centre, Wageningen (NL). The source of this infection could not be identified but is probably associated with the import of infected young plants. From March to May 2013, a total of 35;280 plants had been delivered from a Dutch propagation company in 6 consignments. Disease symptoms (stem necrosis, wilting, plant mortality) were first observed by the grower in July, with the onset of warm weather. At the time of inspection approximately 15;000 plants of the total amount had already been sold to retailers (and could not be traced forward), and approximately 5;000 symptomatic plants had been destroyed by the grower. As soon as the presence of F.;foetens was suspected, official measures were taken concerning the sale of the remaining 15;500 plants. The sale of symptomatic plants was prohibited, and symptomless plants were allowed to be sold to retailers only. An official survey for the presence of F. foetens will be conducted during the 2014 growing season and will focus on companies growing begonia plants.
The pest status of Fusarium foetens in the Czech Republic is officially declared as: Present, subject to official control.
NPPO of the Czech Republic (2013-11).