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Under Intensive Study at Penn State
Fusarium, A Wide-Ranging Crop Threat
Scientists concerned with fungi new Fusarium Research Center
of the genus Fmarlum have a at The Pennsylvania State
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University. Directing the Center
are Dr. P.E. Nelson, professor of
plant pathology, and Dr. T.A.
Tossoun, adjunct associate
professor of plant pathology.
The work consists of research
projects relating directly to
agricultural problems in the
Commonwealth. In addition,
there are projects of national and
international concern. The
Center maintains the largest
collection of Fusarium specis in
the United States—some 3,800
Current problems under study
are stalk rot of corn, Fusarium
blight of turfgrass, and Fusarium
stem rot of carnations. In each
case, Fusarium species are being
identified as well as the en
vironmental factors favoring
disease development. Faculty
members at Cornell University,
as well as Penn State, are
cooperating in the corn stalk rot
and carnation stem rot projects.
Widely distributed in soil from
the Arctic to the Sahara Desert,
Fusarium species cause diseases
of animals and man. Their most
serious effect, however, is in
producing wilt diseases of major
crops as well as root rots and
blights of cereal grains.
The Center serves as a
resource nucleus for scientists
and other persons wanting help in
identifying, handling, and storing
Fusarium fungi, the directors
With this in mind, strong
cooperative programs have been
developed with scientists in
Australia. Collaborating with
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Lancaster Farming, Saturday, September 23,1972
Drs. Nelson and Toussoun on
diseases of wheat and corn are
personnel with the University of
Sidney and the Queensland
Department of Primary In
dustries. In addition, a
cooperative program on
Fusarium diseases of ornamental
plants and turfgrass is being set
up with scientists at Brisbane.
Another international function
is to identify Fusarium cultures,
provide cultures, and maintain
and store cultures for other
workers. During the past year,
requests for these services have
come from many states as well as
from Malaya, Canada, Australia,
British Solomon Islands
Protectorate, India, Colombia,
Egypt, Lebanon, and Japan.
Although most of the cultures
for identification came from
plants, Center personnel also
identified several Fusarium
species of human origin.
New La helingßegulations
For Manufactured Meats
Hot dogs, sausage, sandwich
meat, bologna, scrapple and
other favorite staples
manufactured from meat
products must have their
ingredients clearly labeled for
sale to consumers as of Sept. 15, it
was announced today by Penn
sylvania Secretary of Agriculture
McHale said the meat industry
was notified of the pending
labeling requirements May 25.
“After Sept. 15, our inspectors in
the departments’s Bureau of
Foods and Chemistry will enforce
this regulation,” said McHale.
The secretary noted that the
department’s regional consumer
councils have been alerted to the
regulations and are expected to
help in reporting violations.
Jane Alexander, director of the
Bureau of Foods and Chemistry,
said regulations stem from the
Meat and Poultry Hygiene law of
1968. She said the meat industry
has had a good record of
voluntary compliance with the
Moreover, several cultures were
identified that produce toxins in
hay and silage.
Long-range plans call for
promoting the use of the
Fusarium Research Center’s
large collection fungi as
biological indicators or
measuring devices in studying
Fusarium species are par
ticularly suited for studying the
effects of sewage sludge, com
post, and other solid wastes on
biological control of soilborne
organisms. Such fungi can also
determine the ability of airborne
dust to disseminate soilborne
organisms in temperate and arid
In addition, such fungi can help
to determne the effect of plant
cover and man’s activities on
populations of soilborne
labeling requirements. However,
violations have occurred when
retail outlets buy manufactured
meat products in bulk and
repackage the meat for sale m
Regulations to be enforced
require that pre-packaged meat
items with two or more
ingredients be labeled to identify
these ingredients. Unpackaged
meat products such as sausage
and bologna sold in bulk to retail
stores must be identified to the
consumer by a wallboard or
chart, or a card for each item in
the display case.
All meat retailers, wholesalers
and distributors are asked to
remove from sale all unlabeled
pre-packaged meats. After Sept.
15, such meat will be seized by
the department’s food inspectors
and prosecution initiated.
Stores in violation will be
subject to fines from $5O to $3OO. A
second violation will carry a fine
of $5OO to $l,OOO.