Pathogens associated with strawberry crown and root rot
Abstract: In a newly established strawberry crop, cv. ‘Roxana’, in the central part of Serbia, a high incidence of stunting, wilting and dieback of plants was observed during April 2018. Typical symptoms included root and crown necrosis, accompanied by plant wilting and chlorosis of leaves. Necrotic lesions in the inner crown tissue were recorded. Eventually, infected plants collapsed or died. In order to identify the disease causal agent(s), crown and roots of individual plants were examined. Roots were washed under running tap water and the crown of each plant was dissected. Fragments of roots and crowns, taken from the border between diseased and healthy tissue were surface sterilized in 2% sodium hypochlorite for 2 minutes and aseptically placed on potato dextrose agar amended with 200 mg/l of streptomycin. The isolates were identified based on morphological characteristics and the sequence of the rDNA ITS region. Pathogenicity was confirmed by inoculation of strawberry-leaf-petiole fragments. The following species were associated with the observed symptoms: Neopestalotiopsis clavispora, Fusarium oxysporum, Ceratobasidium sp., and Paraphaeosphaeria sporulosa.