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Open AccessArticle

Molecular Identification and Disease Management of Date Palm Sudden Decline Syndrome in the United Arab Emirates

1
Department of Biology, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain 15551, UAE
2
Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain 15551, UAE
3
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(4), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20040923
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 17 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium Mycotoxins)
Date palm orchards suffer from serious diseases, including sudden decline syndrome (SDS). External symptoms were characterized by whitening on one side of the rachis, progressing from the base to the apex of the leaf until the whole leaf dies; while the internal disease symptoms included reddish roots and highly colored vascular bundles causing wilting and death of the tree. Although three Fusarium spp. (F. oxysporum, F. proliferatum and F. solani) were isolated from diseased root samples, the fungal pathogen F. solani was associated with SDS on date palm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fusarium spp. were identified based on their cultural and morphological characteristics. The internal transcribed spacer regions and large subunit of the ribosomal RNA (ITS/LSU rRNA) gene complex of the pathogens was further sequenced. Pathogenicity assays and disease severity indices confirm the main causal agent of SDS on date palm in the UAE is F. solani. Application of Cidely® Top (difenoconazole and cyflufenamid) significantly inhibited the fungal mycelial growth in vitro and reduced SDS development on date palm seedlings pre-inoculated with F. solani under greenhouse conditions. This is the first report confirming that the chemical fungicide Cidely® Top is strongly effective against SDS on date palm. View Full-Text
Keywords: date palm; disease management; Fusarium solani; pathogenicity; sudden decline syndrome; UAE date palm; disease management; Fusarium solani; pathogenicity; sudden decline syndrome; UAE
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Alwahshi, K.J.; Saeed, E.E.; Sham, A.; Alblooshi, A.A.; Alblooshi, M.M.; El-Tarabily, K.A.; AbuQamar, S.F. Molecular Identification and Disease Management of Date Palm Sudden Decline Syndrome in the United Arab Emirates. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 923.

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