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Agroathelia rolfsii – Wikipedia

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– Species described in 1911 by Pier Andrea Saccardo
– Originally placed in the genus Sclerotium
– Later moved to Corticium by Mario Curzi
– Further reclassified into Pellicularia, Botryobasidium, and Athelia
– Recent DNA analyses show it belongs to Amylocorticiales

– Produces smooth, white basidiocarps
– Microscopic features include ribbon-like hyphae with clamp connections
– Basidia are club-shaped with ellipsoid basidiospores
– Forms small, brownish sclerotia from hyphae
– Measures 4–7 by 3–5 μm

– Southern blight affects warm soils above 15°C
– Has a broad host range, particularly affecting seasonal crops
– Known as mustard seed fungus
– Causes root rot in Cassava
– Pathogen overwinters as sclerotia and primarily attacks plant crown and stem tissues

**Disease Cycle:**
– Agroathelia rolfsii is a soil-borne fungal pathogen
– Over 500 plant species in the US are affected
– Produces compounds like oxalic acid to kill plant tissue
– Forms mycelium and sclerotia in warm, humid conditions
– Results in stem lesions near the soil line, leading to plant wilt and death

– Thrives in warm, humid climates
– Common in the Southern US and solanaceous crops
– Prefers oxygen-rich and acidic soils
– Spread through contaminated tools, irrigation systems, and infected plant material
– Optimal growth requires warm, humid conditions for mycelium and sclerotia production

– Avoiding infected fields is a key management technique
– Proper sanitation and effective crop rotations can reduce disease pressure
– Deep tillage buries infected plant tissues, hindering pathogen growth
– Soil solarization and organic amendments can reduce plant death
– Chemical methods like fungicides disrupt mycelium and sclerotia production, reducing disease spread

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