Race determination and vegetative compatibility grouping of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis from South Africa
Isolates of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis (72 total) obtained from 30 fields in 17 melon-producing regions in South Africa were race typed, using differential cvs. CM 17187, Doublon, Perlita, and Topmark, and grouped on the basis of vegetative compatibility. Fifty-four isolates were identified as race 0, eight as race 1, and ten as race 2. Race 0 occurred in 15 of 17 regions, whereas race 1 was sporadically recovered. Race 2 was obtained from only four fields located in one geographic region. Perlita plants (carrying the gene Fom3) inoculated with local isolates of races 0 and 2 and reference isolates of race 0 became stunted, and their leaves became yellow, thickened, and brittle. Using two inoculation methods, similar symptoms were induced by reference and local isolates of race 0 on Perlita seedlings. The results indicated that Fom3 in Perlita confers a tolerant reaction compared with the resistant reaction of gene Fom1 in Doublon and, therefore, should not be used alone in race determination tests. All isolates belonged to vegetative compatibility group 0134, indicating a high degree of genetic homogeneity among the South African F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis population.