Phytopathology (2020) 110, 956-968

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Gerald J. Holmes, Seyed Mojtaba Mansouripour and Shashika S. Hewavitharana (2020)
Strawberries at the crossroads: Management of soilborne diseases in California without methyl bromide
Phytopathology 110 (5), 956-968
Abstract: Strawberry production has historically been affected by soilborne diseases such as Verticillium wilt. This disease was a major limiting factor in strawberry production in California in the 1950s and was the main reason that preplant soil fumigation with methyl bromide (MB) was developed in the late 1950s. MB fumigation was so successful that over 90% of the commercial strawberry fruit production in California utilized this technique. However, MB was subsequently linked to ozone depletion, and its use was phased out in 2005. The California strawberry industry was awarded exemption to the full phase-out until 2016, when all MB use in strawberry fruit production was prohibited. MB use continues in strawberry nurseries under an exemption to prevent spread of nematodes and diseases on planting stock. This review examines the impact of the MB phase-out on the California strawberry industry and evaluates the outlook for the industry in the absence of one of the most effective tools for managing soilborne diseases. New soilborne diseases have emerged, and historically important soilborne diseases have reemerged. Registration of new fumigants has been difficult and replacement of MB with a new and effective alternative is unlikely in the foreseeable future. Thus, crop losses due to soilborne diseases are likely to increase. Host plant resistance to soilborne diseases has become a top priority for strawberry breeding programs, and cultivars are increasingly selected for their resistance to soilborne diseases. The intelligent integration of a variety of management tactics is necessary to sustain strawberry production in California.
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Database assignments for author(s): Gerald J. Holmes

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Phytophthora cactorum Strawberry (Fragaria) U.S.A. (SW)
Verticillium dahliae Strawberry (Fragaria) U.S.A. (SW)
Macrophomina phaseolina Strawberry (Fragaria) U.S.A. (SW)
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. fragariae Strawberry (Fragaria) U.S.A. (SW)