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(plant pathology)
Any of various plant diseases characterized by drooping and shriveling, following loss of turgidity.



a wilting of plants caused by various agents. Most often wilt is called tracheomycotic disease, caused by imperfect fungi Verticillium dahliae (verticilliosis) and Fusarium oxysporum (fusarium wilt). The former affects approximately 350 species of dicotyledonous plants. The plant that is most susceptible to wilt is cotton; less susceptible plants include sesame, Indian mallow, flax, tomatoes, potatoes, musk-melons, watermelons, peaches, and apricots.

The causative agent develops in the soil, penetrates the plant through the root, and spreads in the water transport system of the xylem, causing wilting of subterranean organs. Most often the whole plant dies; more rarely, certain of its parts. The disease is transmitted through soil, by plant remnants, planting material, and irrigation water. (Fusarium wilt is also transmitted by seeds.) Affected plants either yield no harvest or their quality is sharply decreased. Control measures are selection of wilt-resistant varieties, purging the soil of wilt agents by introducing rational crop rotation and soil cultivation, and introduction of organic fertilizers that activate development of saprophytic microbes and fungi-antagonists of wilt agents.


Solov’eva, A. I. “Spetsializatsiia formy Verticillium dahliae Kleb.” In the collection Bolezni khlopchatnika. Tashkent, 1938.
Raillo, A. I. Griby roda fuzarium. Moscow, 1950.
Materialy Vsesoiuznogo simpoziuma po bor’be s viltom khlopchatnika. Tashkent, 1964.




a plant disease characterized by the drooping of leaves, branches, and other organs owing to loss of turgor (tension of tissues) and often by the formation of spots on the leaves. Wilt is observed when entire plants or parts of plants are attacked by parasitic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and—less commonly— viruses and Mycoplasma). The condition may also result from mechanical injury to the root system, intensive evaporation of water from the leaves, insufficient water in the soil, or other unfavorable factors. Both herbaceous and woody plants are subject to wilt.

In cases of infectious disease, wilt is distinguished as a type of plant disease and as a symptom. In the latter instance, wilt accompanies certain infectious diseases most often associated with the root system (for example, clubroot of crucifers and big bud of potato) and is observed mainly in the final stage of the disorders. Wilt produced by bacteria is known as tracheobacteriosis, and wilt caused by pathogenic fungi is called tracheomycosis. The causative agents live in soil or on plant remains and penetrate the vascular system of the plant through the roots. Severe decrease in cell turgor is caused by the toxic substances secreted by microorganisms.

Control measures include proper crop rotation, implementation of measures that promote the accumulation of water or prevent the unproductive expenditure of water (for example, evaporation) when there is a water deficiency in the soil, and decontamination of seeds. Other important measures are the gathering and burning of plant remains and roots, deep autumn plowing, destruction of weeds, and removal of severely diseased plants from the fields. Also important are proper plant care, the application of fertilizer, and the use of wilt-resistant varieties.


References in periodicals archive ?
Your eyes will tell you which leaves wilted and which will need re-treatment.
After about four weeks of inoculation, all plants of P1-13, Pusa329, CM739/06, CH120/04 (Figure 1) and Noor91 wilted and died latterly, four genotypes namely 97086, CH85/06, CM562/05 and CM526/05 survived and showed resistance according to phenotypic analysis.
Chef Aktar Islam, left, and the pan fried fillet of bream resting on wilted greens and traditional Allepey style raw mango curry, above
Add the spinach, season with a little salt and toss the spinach with the garlic-pronged fork until just wilted.
When peas are tender, stir in bite-size pieces of pea shoots; cook just until wilted.
I'm not looking for sunstroke,'' said a somewhat wilted Isabel Mestler of Woodland Hills, schlepping peach-colored geraniums from Home Depot to her car.
Wilted cherry leaves also attract eastern tent caterpillars, which were especially abundant in central Kentucky this spring.
Wilted leaves of affected plants turn reddish to copper just before the plants collapse.
Genetically altered tobacco stems grafted onto normal roots no longer drooped, although normal stems grafted onto roots containing the altered gene still wilted.
Before drenching all plants showing partial wilting and yellowing but none of the plants completely wilted in all treatments.
Most of the leaves turned yellow, wilted and hanged from the junction with the pseudostem.