First report of Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae on mango in Israel.
Verticillium wilt caused by the fungal pathogen V. dahliae is considered one of the most important diseases in a wide range of vegetables, field, ornamental and tree crops. The disease has been reported previously on mango in southern Spain. In 2008, first symptoms of Verticillium wilt were observed in several mango (cultivars Keitt and Shelly) trees in a grove located in the Sea of Galilee area, grown under organic management in soil previously cropped with avocado which was infected with V. dahliae. Since the winter of 2009, the disease has spread rapidly in the grove amongst different cultivars, reaching an incidence of 20% diseased or dead trees (18 months after the first symptoms) and has also been detected in adjacent groves in the same region. The symptoms observed included wilt and chlorosis, branch dieback on one side of the shoot, drying leaves remaining attached to branches and vascular discoloration. Based on conidiophore morphology and microsclerotia production, as well as PCR, the causal agent was confirmed as V. dahliae. The fungus was also successfully detected in soil samples (0.6-0.8 microsclerotia/g soil) taken from the infested grove. This is thought to be the first report of Verticillium wilt on mango in Israel.