Pests and Diseases

Potato researcher warns of new disease threat

Courtesy of University of Wisconsin A potato plant shows symptoms of dickeya, a bacterial pathogen long found in Europe that is now spreading in the United States.

A plant pathologist has advised the potato industry to prioritize research and testing to combat a new threat to U.S. spud production — the bacterial pathogen dickeya dianthicola. University of Wisconsin associate professor Amy Charkowski, who also directs Wisconsin’s seed potato certification program, told growers at the National Potato Council’s summer meeting dickeya caused heavy damage to spud fields throughout the East Coast in 2015 and has been troublesome again this season. Charkowski said the pathogen has posed a major challenge to European potato production since the 1950s, but it didn’t surface in the U.S. until the fall of 2014, when a sample from the Northeast tested positive. It’s since been confirmed in most of the major potato states, including Idaho, North Dakota, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Maine and Florida. It’s also been found in Canada in New Brunswick and Ontario. More

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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