First report of a member of the Fusarium oxysporum species complex causing cladode rot in Nopalea cochenillifera in Brazil.
Nopalea cochenillifera is economically important in Brazil owing to its use for animal feed in semiarid areas. A disease-causing cladode rot and prickly pear cactus death was observed in April 2015 in Surubim in northeast Brazil. Disease symptoms on the cladodes initially consisted of softened areas that subsequently wilted and fell off the plant after a few days, becoming dark with the internal woody tissue exposed. Morphological observations, molecular sequence comparison and pathogenicity tests revealed the pathogen as a member of the F. oxysporum species complex (FOSC). A member of the FOSC was previously described causing rot in cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica in Brazil; however, this is thought to be the first report of a member of the FOSC in association with N. cochenillifera in Brazil and worldwide.