Fusarium Crown Rot

macroconidia of Fusarium culmorum

macroconidia of F.culmorum

Fusarium pseudograminearum causes browning of wheat subcrown internodes

Crown rot causes browning of wheat seedling subcrown internodes

Whiteheads caused by Fusarium crown rot

Whiteheads caused by Fusarium crown rot


Sandbed nursery for screening wheat lines for resistance to several crown rot fungi

Screening varieties for resistance to Fusarium pseudograminearum, F. culmorum, and Bipolaris sorokiniana, using a "sandbed" nursery system


macroconidia of Fusarium pseudograminearum

Macroconidia of F. pseudograminearum

Genetic Resistance and/or Tolerance to Fusarium crown rot (foot rot)

A complex of Fusarium and related species causes Fusarium crown rot by infecting roots and crowns of winter and spring wheat, and winter and spring barley. Yields can be reduced up to 30%, depending on environmental conditions and field management practices. Current disease management emphasis is on selecting wheat germplasm with tolerance and/or resistance to the dominant pathogens, Fusarium pseudograminearum , Fusarium culmorum , and Bipolaris sorokiniana . Collaborators include wheat breeders and pathologists in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and in Australia, Syria (ICARDA) and Turkey (CIMMYT). Representative papers include the following.

  • Hajihassani, A., R.W. Smiley, and F.J. Afshar. 2013. Effects of co-inoculations with Pratylenchus thornei and Fusarium culmorum on growth and yield of winter wheat. Plant Disease 97:1470-1477. (abstract)
  • Poole, G.J., R.W. Smiley, C. Walker, D. Huggins, R. Rupp, J. Abatzoglou, K. Garland-Campbell, and T.C. Paulitz. 2013. Effect of climate on the distribution of Fusarium species causing crown rot of wheat in the Pacific Northwest of the US. Phytopathology 103:1130-1140.  (abstract)
  • Poole, G.J., R.W. Smiley, T.C. Paulitz, C.A. Walker, A.H. Carter, D.R. See, and K. Garland-Campbell. 2012. Identification and quantitative trait loci (QTL) for resistance to Fusarium crown rot (Fusarium pseudograminearum) in multiple assay environments in the Pacific Northwest US. Theoretical & Applied Genetics: 125:91-107. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., and H. Yan. 2009. Variability of Fusarium crown rot tolerances among cultivars and lines of spring wheat and winter wheat. Plant Disease 93:954-961.(abstract) 
  • Smiley, R.W. 2009. Water and temperature parameters associated with winter wheat diseases caused by soilborne pathogens. Plant Disease 93:73-79. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., J.A. Gourlie, S.A. Easley, and L.-M. Patterson. 2005. Pathogenicity of fungi associated with the wheat crown rot complex in Oregon and Washington. Plant Disease 89: 949-957. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., J.A. Gourlie, S.A. Easley, L.-M. Patterson, and R.G. Whittaker. 2005. Crop damage estimates for crown rot of wheat and barley in the Pacific Northwest. Plant Disease 89: 595-604. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., J.A. Gourlie, S.A. Easley, and R.G. Whittaker. 2004. Australian wheat cultivars varying in tolerance to Fusarium crown rot perform similarly against F. pseudograminearum populations in the USA. p. 113-114 In. K. Ophel-Keller (ed.). Proceedings of the Third Australasian Soilborne Diseases Symposium.
  • Smiley, R.W., J.A. Gourlie, R.G. Whittaker, S.A. Easley, and K.K. Kidwell. 2004. Economic impact of Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on spring wheat in Oregon and additive yield losses with Fusarium crown rot and lesion nematode. Journal of Economic Entomology 97:397-408. (abstract)
  • Paulitz, T., R. Smiley, and R.J. Cook. 2002. Insights into the prevalence and management of soilborne cereal pathogens under direct seeding in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 24:416-428. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., and L-M. Patterson. 1996. Pathogenic fungi associated with Fusarium foot rot of winter wheat in the semi-arid Pacific Northwest. Plant Disease 80:944-949. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., H.P. Collins, and P.E. Rasmussen. 1996. Diseases of wheat in long-term agronomic experiments at Pendleton, Oregon. Plant Disease 80:813-820. (abstract)
  • Smiley, R.W., and L.-M. Patterson. 1995. Damage to winter wheat from dryland root rot. Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station Special Report 946:67-72.
  • Kane, R. T., R. W. Smiley, and M. E. Sorrells. 1987. Relative pathogenicity of selected Fusarium species and Microdochium bolleyi to winter wheat in New York. Plant Disease 71:177-181.
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