Fusarium basal rot

Fusarium basal rot of onion bulbs. Image: Onions Australia

  • Fusarium basal rot affects onions, leeks, garlic and other Allium species.
  • Also called damping off.
  • Damages leaves, whole plant.
  • Symptoms appear as a pinkish brown rot that becomes covered with a whitish, fluffy fungal growths. Leaf tips yellow, entire leaves wilt beginning with the older outer leaves, scattered plants are stunted, and eventually die. A semi-watery decay progresses from the basal plate upward and secondary invaders (bacteria) cause a watery, foul smelling breakdown.
  • Symptoms may not be visible in the field, but may develop during storage. Bulbs will become spongy or sunken, and will appear brown and watery when cut open. White, light pink or reddish fungal growth may appear on bulbs or within rot cavities.
  • Present in all states except Northern Territory and Tasmania.
  • No movement controls exist for this pest, but it can be prevented from entering your farm through biosecurity measures.
  • Spread through soil, water, transplanted plants and seedlings.


Scientific name: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae
EPPRD Category:
Life Form: Fungus

Pest Documents

FS: fact sheet

CP: contingency plan

DP: diagnostic protocol