Emerging soil-borne and foliar diseases on leafy vegetables for fresh-cut production in northern Italy
During the past years several diseases caused by soil-borne and foliar pathogens were observed for the first time in Northern Italy on fresh-cut vegetables. This sector is particularly exposed to the risk of the emergence of new diseases as a consequence of its dynamism, specialization and use of intensive cultivation techniques. Fusarium wilts have been recently observed in Italy on lettuce (Lactuca sativa), wild (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) and cultivated (Eruca sativa) rocket, corn salad (Valerianella olitoria), chicory (Cichorium intybus) and endive (Cichorium endivia), while Phytophthora tentaculata was recently reported on C. intybus. Among the diseases caused by seed-borne pathogens, Phoma valerianellae, already reported in Italy on corn salad, caused severe losses on this crop. Attacks of Rhizoctonia solani, and Pythium spp. on lettuce, rocket, corn salad, endive and chicory were observed while Phoma betae on leaf beet (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. vulgaris) was recently observed for the first time in Piedmont (Northern Italy). Powdery mildew of corn salad, downy mildew of wild rocket and a leaf spot of wild and cultivated rocket caused by Alternaria japonica were recently observed as new foliar diseases on these crops. These diseases emerged as major production problems in protected crops, where every year repeated cropping is carried out in the same soil. The biology, epidemiology, physiological characteristics of the causal agents as well as disease management strategies are reported.
Gilardi, G., Gullino, M.L. and Garibaldi, A. (2018). Emerging soil-borne and foliar diseases on leafy vegetables for fresh-cut production in northern Italy. Acta Hortic. 1209, 65-70
varietal resistance, biological control, disease management, seed dressing