Fusarium Wilt of Canola - Frequently Asked Questions

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 Fusarium wilt, largely caused by Fusarium oxysporum is a disease of canola that causes part or all of a plant to wilt, reducing yield by up to 30% or more on badly affected fields. For a more detailed picture of what wilt looks like, click on the links below.

Left side affected by fusarium wilt

Does it differ from fusarium in cereals?
While fusarium wilt in canola is causes by an organism in the same general grouping as Fusarium graminearum, the agent that causes fusarium head blight, it is not the identical pest. The fusarium wilt organism of canola will not cause fusarium head blight in cereals.

How can we prevent fusarium wilt?
Fusarium wilt of canola can be minimized by all good disease prevention measures, such as good rotations, brassica weed control in cereal crops, and control of annual weeds in crop borders and headlands. However, as with most diseases, there still can be some residual disease inoculum even with the good management practices. To minimize the risk, especially in Northeast Alberta where this commonly appears, it would help to have genetics on your side by selecting varieties known to be resistant.

What varieties are resistant?
Discuss resistance to fusarium wilt with your seed suppliers if you have seen the disease in your field before, or if you are in an area where the disease has been found.

Additional Fusarium wilt references:
1. Benard, D. and Lange, R. M. 2002. Identification and Quantification of a New Canola Wilt in Western Canada. Final Project Report, Canola Agronomic Research Program AG#2000-6 and Farming for the Future Matching Grants Research Program Project #2000M633: 30 pp.

2. Benard, D., Lange, R. M., and Byer, J. 2002. Survey of Fusarium wilt and other canola diseases in Alberta, 2001. Canadian Plant Disease Survey 82: 80-2.

3. Benard, D., Lange, R. M., and Harrison, L. M.. 2001. Survey of Fusarium wilt and other canola diseases in Alberta, 2000. Canadian Plant Disease Survey 81: 102-4.

4. Harrison, L. M., Lange, R. M., and Kharbanda, P. D. 2002. Fusarium wilt, a new fungal disease of canola (web page).

Prepared by Jay Byer, Ag-Info Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

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This information published to the web on December 11, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 9, 2016.