Screening for resistance to Verticillium wilt in Zimbabwe

R.J. Hillocks


Verticillium wilt has become the main disease of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Zimbabwe, due mainly to the recent development of commercial cultivars with much improved fibre qualities but which are susceptible to Verticillium. In order to select for wilt resistance in the field, a stem inoculation technique was developed which gave results comparable with results obtained from screening by natural infection. The method avoids the risk of disease escape and is suitable for single plant selection. The success of the method in distinguishing between resistance and susceptibility is dependent on air temperature after inoculation. A number of cultivars of G. hirsutum and G. barbadense were screened using the stem inoculation technique to identify suitable wilt-resistant parents for use in a crossing programme with local high quality cultivars.


Cotton; Resistance screening; Verticillium wilt; Zimbabwe

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