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PIC: The rise and fall of Blackleg-causing bacteria

January 26, 2022  By Rosalie I. Tennison, courtesy of Potatoes in Canada

Tubers infected with P. pementieri. Photo courtesy of Eugenia Banks.

Blackleg confounds potato growers, especially since several bacteria can cause the yield-robbing scourge. Fortunately, one of the main culprits, Dickeya dianthicola, is not often found in Canada and tends to be localized when it is. However, other bacteria that can cause Blackleg infect fields regularly. The difficulty is knowing which bacteria is present in order to mitigate the problem effectively.

Research at the University of Maine, where Dickeya has been common, showed that growers who effectively control Blackleg caused by Dickeya are now seeing an increase in other Blackleg-causing bacteria. This has prompted them to issue a warning to growers to identify the bacteria as a means to better arrest the spread of Blackleg. Even though Canadian growers have ably controlled Dickeya-initiated infections, knowing the type of bacteria that is causing Blackleg is helpful for planning disease reduction. |READ MORE


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