Hot Pepper Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. capsici): Epidemics, Characteristic Features and Management Options

  •  Endriyas Gabrekiristos    
  •  Tola Demiyo    


Hot pepper (Capsicum annum L.) is one of the important cash crops to Ethiopian smallholder farmers and an important agricultural commodity which contribute to export earnings. In Ethiopia, this high value crop is constrained by powdery mildew, Phytophthora leaf blight, Fusarium wilt, bacterial leaf spot, bacterial wilt, bacterial soft rot and pepper motile virus. Among this diseases, wilt disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. capsici (FOC) is one of the major pathogen that constrained production and productivity of hot pepper in Ethiopia mainly the Central Rift valley. In Ethiopia, hot pepper fusarium wilt is reported in all production regions in different magnitude. The highest wilt incidence due to fusarium is 90% in some Farmers association of Alaba districts in South Nation Nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. The economic yield losses due to Fusarium wilt has been estimated at 68 to 71%. Infection and disease development in Fusarium wilt is favored by warm soil temperature, low soil moisture, susceptible host, virulent pathogen and 5.0 to 6.0 pH levels; are some of epidemic factors. Fusarium is reproduced by sexually by teleomorphs and asexually by microconidia, macroconidia and chlamydospore. From the Central rift valley of Ethiopia, 49 FOC isolates were identified based on micro and macroscopic characteristics and the isolate having pink colony color, 3-5 septa forming conidia on potato dextrose agar, perform the most pathogenic ability to Mareko Fana Variety. This pathogen has an over wintering stage called chlamydospore which can exist in the soil for more than ten years without the host. Hot pepper fusarium wilt can be managed by host resistance, biological agent, botanicals and fungicide. In Ethiopia, pepper screening for resistant source, in vitro evaluation of bioagents and fungicides were done. In this review attempt has been made to summarize relevant scientific studies on this economically important crop, hot pepper fusarium wilt and associated factors in Ethiopia as well as its different disease management options, challenges and future prospects.

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