Investigating Wilt with Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Power

I often wonder what makes my tomatoes wilt. Most of the time it’s because I don’t water them enough (sorry, plants!). But it could also be because they have been infected by a pathogen, causing them to wilt. These pathogens, like the fungus Fusarium and the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum, are found in the soil and can infiltrate the vascular system of a plant thereby blocking its ability to take in water. This causes the plant to wilt — and die — in a manner that looks almost exactly the same as my thirsty tomato plants.