Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a plant with adaptogenic properties and is suitable for cultivation in Alberta, Canada. Disease surveys indicated the occurrence of root rots in rhodiola plantations in the Province. A total of 74 fungal isolates were associated with discoloration and rotting in the crown and root regions of the plants. Among these, 15 isolates were identified as Fusarium sp., three as Pythium sp. and eight as Rhizoctonia sp. This is the first report of root rot in rhodiola in Alberta, Canada. These soil-borne pathogens are the potential threat to the quality and quantity of rhodiola production. Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and these soil pathogens on rhodiola growth and development under greenhouse conditions. Overall results indicated that Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia sp. are all capable of reducing rhodiola biomass. However, biomass was significantly higher when vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were applied in conjunction with these pathogens or in non-inoculated controls. This suggests that vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi could be used as a management tool for the control of seedling root rot diseases of rhodiola.
S.F. Hwang, H.U. Ahmed, K. Ampong-Nyarko, S.E. Strelkov, R.J. Howard and G.D. Turnbull, 2009. Causal Agents of Root Rot and the Effect of Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Seedlings of Rhodiola rosea in Alberta, Canada. Plant Pathology Journal, 8: 120-126.