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  • 1 Universidad Nacional de Colombia Departamento de Biología Carrera 30 # 45-03 Bogotá, D. C. Colombia
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Vanilla is a genus of tropical orchids with some fragrant species few of which have growing economic importance as the source of the original vanilla flavour: Vanilla planifolia. This crop is reproduced asexually and its genetic variability is quite low, which means that it is highly vulnerable to pathogens. Among them, Fusarium is important around the world. Here I report for the first time the presence of various Fusarium taxa (F. oxysporum f. sp. loti, F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis, F. solani, and Fusarium sp.), as foliar endosymbionts in Colombian Vanilla. Species sampled were: Vanilla planifolia, V. odorata, and a wild species not yet identified. Additionally, Colletotrichum boninense, an anthracnose-producing fungus, was also found as an endophyte in Vanilla leaves. The Colombian government is promoting alternative crops to coffee, and Vanilla is a promising candidate. It is important to study the diversity and interactions between Vanilla and Fusarium, in order to both understand the pathogenesis and contribute to control of a potential threat to Vanilla cultivations.

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