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Crops > Roots & tubers > Taro > Fungi > Possible Fuarium wilt of taro, New Caledonia
June 2012. A question from New Caledonia about a serious wilt of taro. Symptoms of wilting were recorded on taro in a farmer’s plot on the east coast of New Caledonia. The disease spread quickly through the whole plot. The leaves wilt, the root system is destroyed, the plant remains stunted and the corm is small. Yields are low. This farmer has grown taro (Colocasia) for several years, but it is the first time that he has noticed the problem. He plants only one variety.
Taro is grown in rotation with cucurbits (squash) and sorghum (green manure).
Root samples were sent to a laboratory for analysis. Fusariumoxysporum and Fusariumsolani were identified.
The question was asked whether the roots were also sampled for Pythium. The symptoms look similar to wilts caused by the oomycete. Has it been wet there recently. It looks like the furrows between the rows of taro have been submerged in water. If this is the case, Pythium could be the cause. Unless the cause is known management options cannot be given.