Annals of Botany

Fusarium wilt of cucumber plants is not caused by water shortage

Although leaf wilt occurred in both water stress and FOC infection, the physiological responses were different, especially in leaf spatial distribution.

Fusarium wilted cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants are associated with water imbalance and leaf wilting. In order to investigate whether Fusarium wilt arises from water shortage, Sun et al. tested physiological responses to water stress and Fusarium infection.

Wild cucumber leaves under thermal imaging
Wild cucumber leaves under thermal imaging.

Responses of cucumber leaves varied according to the leaf regions affected. Under water stress, the leaf edge was significantly impaired while central sections were less adversely affected. In contrast, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum infection caused serious membrane damage and higher leaf temperature in the centre. The leaf region responses and different osmotic alteration illustrates the non-causal relationship between Fusarium wilt and water transport blockage.