Eggplant (Solanum spp.) production in Arumeru district and other parts of Africa is severely affected by wilting diseases of unknown etiology. Fusarium spp. characterized through morphological and sequence analysis of the translation elongation factor associated with Fusarium wilt of eggplants was used to test the response of three different eggplant species. Three Solanum spp. accessions were tested in a screen house at the seedling stage for resistance to two isolates each of Fusarium equiseti (corda) Sacc, Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc and Fusarium oxysporum (Schlecht). The study indicated that accessions MM 1131 (Solanum macrocapon) and N 19 (Solanum anguivi) accessions are susceptible to F. equiseti. Accession N 19 (S. anguivi) was susceptible to F. solani while both N 19 (S. anguivi) and MM 1131 (S. macrocarpon) was also susceptible to F. oxysporum f. sp. melongenae. Ninety-three accessions of cultivated and wild eggplants were subsequently evaluated in two screen house trials for resistance to Fusarium wilt. A root dip technique was used to inoculate the accessions with isolate Fs 40 (F. oxysporum f.sp. melongenae). Seventeen of the 93 accessions were found to be resistant and they belonged to Solanum macrocarpon and Solanum aethiopicum species. Accessions in S melongena were found to be the most susceptible. Eggplant accessions that showed high levels of resistance could potentially serve as valuable sources of Fusarium wilt resistance in eggplant breeding programs in Tanzania and beyond.
Key words: African eggplants, Fusarium spp. susceptibility, resistance.
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