2010 Florida Citrus Pest Management Guide: Phytophthora Foot Rot and Root Rot

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Foot rot results from infection of the scion near the ground level, producing bark lesions which extend down to the budunion on resistant rootstocks. Crown rot results from infection of the bark below the soil line when susceptible rootstocks are used. Root rot occurs when the cortex of fibrous roots is infected, turns soft and appears water-soaked. Fibrous roots slough off their cortex leaving only a white thread-like stele (inner tissue of the fibrous root). Foot rot and root rot can be caused by P. nicotianae or P. palmivora. When managing Phytophthora-induced diseases, consider integration of cultural practices (e.g., disease exclusion through use of Phytophthora-free planting stock, resistant rootstocks, proper irrigation practices) and chemical control methods. Phytophthora management with chemical control should not be considered until other potential causes of decline in tree production are evaluated and corrected.

J.H. Graham
L.W. Timmer
M.M. Dewdney
University of Florida IFAS Extension