Black Root Rot

by Edward Luersman, Elizabeth Roche, Nancy J. Taylor & Francesca Peduto Hand

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Black Root Rot is caused by the fungus Thielaviopsis basicola. The pathogen is found worldwide on more than 100 plant species and it is widespread in both the greenhouse and the landscape environment. Plants can be affected at any growth stage. Because the tissue being targeted by the pathogen is the root system, symptoms are similar to those of other root rot problems, including yellowing of the leaves, stunting of the plant, and in more severe cases plant wilting. Flower crops particularly susceptible to the disease include begonia, african daisy, pansy, and madagascar periwinkle among others.