Identification of Two Species of Fusarium Link that Cause Wilting of Colored Callas (Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.) Cultivated under Greenhouse Conditions in Chile

Luigi Ciampi P.1*, Juan Nissen M.1, Elizabeth Venegas G.1, Ricardo Fuentes P.1, Marcia Costa L.1, Renate Schöbitz T.1, Eduardo Alvarez D.1, and Pilar Alvarado A.1

Calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.) is a flower that is conquering international markets. It is very important to maintain the healthiness of the crop during its development in order to obtain high quality plants that meet the demands of the markets. The objective of this investigation was to determine the etiological agent(s) of a pathology never observed before in Chile that causes vascular wilt during the cultivation of colored calla developed under greenhouse conditions. Fungal isolates were collected from infected plants. Pathogenicity tests, microscopic observations, and scanning electronic microscopy evaluations were also conducted. Healthy calla tubers were inoculated with isolates of the genus Fusarium Link. Plants grown during 5 months in a climatic chamber showed five classes of symptoms: damping off, dwarfism, intense wilting, mild wilting and no symptoms. The isolates were identified at the species level and it was found that 20% was Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc. and 80% was Fusarium oxysporum Schltdl. Results and collected evidence these two new species that affect production of calla under greenhouse conditions in Chile.

Keywords: Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum, colored calla, Zantedeschia aethiopica
1Universidad Austral de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile. *Corresponding author (lciampi@uach.cl).