Verticillium Wilt

Final Version – September 11, 2015 1

Verticillium wilt of canola 

Advice on on-farm biosecurity and best management measures 

Verticillium wilt, caused by Verticillium longisporum, is a soil-borne fungal disease, which primarily attacks canola and also other members of the family Brassicaceae. The disease can be spread through the movement of soil and seed that contains infested crop debris. Once introduced, the microsclerotia (overwintering and resting structures) produced by the fungus can survive many years in soil even in the absence of host plants. Therefore, eradication or control efforts should focus on the elimination of these structures in infested areas, and reducing movement of soil from infested to non-infested areas.

In November 2014, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the presence of V. longisporum in a farm in Manitoba. Regulatory actions were implemented to prevent the spread of the pest from the farm during the 2015 crop season. A national survey is being conducted that covers both the areas surrounding the infested farm in Manitoba and the general production areas of Canada.

As the CFIA carries out this work to determine the distribution of the pest, producers can assist in minimizing the potential for spread of V. longisporum. The Verticillium Longisporum Advisory Group composed of federal, provincial and industry partners, encourages effective biosecurity measures be practiced on-farm, including:

• Management of grain harvest to minimize the presence of crop debris and soil;

• Good sanitation practices (physical cleaning and disinfection) of machinery and equipment to restrict the movement of soil;

• Manage the access of visitors, suppliers and service providers through assurance of clean equipment/vehicles, and designated receiving and parking areas away from production fields;

• Provide appropriate training to staff on biosecurity measures and best management practices;

• If fall seeding crops such as winter wheat, practice direct seeding to prevent soil disturbance and potential erosion; and,

• Control brassica weeds and volunteer canola to reduce host plant presence and prevent pest inoculum build up.

Note: For more information regarding the current regulatory approach relating to this pest, please contact:

CFIA Area, Regional or Local Offices at:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/offices/eng/1313255382836/1313256130232

Verticillium longisporum – Questions and Answers page on CFIA website at:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/diseases/verticillium-longisporum/questions-and-answers/eng/1420821459459/1420821460224