Root inoculation of susceptible carnations with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi induced characteristic unilateral wilt only if root woundings and use of a microconidial suspension had not been combined at the time of inoculation. The combination, however, induced atypical and sudden stem breaking soon followed by death. In all cases wilt was due to destruction of the xylem. Unilateral wilt appeared to follow sparse natural infection of single roots. Stem breaking was due to destruction of the vascular tissues all around the stem and is ascribed to multilateral infection caused by translocation of microconidia at inoculation through several wounded roots directly into the stem. Microconidia were carried passively 5-10(-10) cm into stems of susceptible and resistant carnations within 24 h both after immersing cut ends of the roots in a conidial suspension and after pouring a suspension on the soil. Passive spore transport is an inoculation artefact which may severely affect interpretation of experimental results; it seems to be unimportant in natural Fusarium wilt development in carnation.
- Dianthus caryophyllus
- inoculation methods