Bacterial soft rot
|Bacterial soft rot|
|Bacterial soft rot on a cabbage stalk|
|Bacterial black stalk
Bacterial soft rot (Pectobacterium carotovorum) is a plant pathogen with a wide host range (carrot, potato, tomato, leafy greens (lettuce, perpetual spinach, cabbage, kale, etc.), squash and other cucurbits, onion, green peppers, etc.), able to cause disease in almost any plant tissue it invades. It is a very economically important pathogen in terms of postharvest losses, and a common cause of decay in stored fruits and vegetables. Most plants or plant parts can resist invasion by the bacteria, unless some type of wound is present. High humidity and temperatures around 30°C (86°F) favor development of decay.
Lower stem area will break during high wind or stress. Brown to orange area observed in latter stages. Strong putrid odor.
An infected taproot has a soft and watery decay. The bacteria sometimes rapidly consume the entire taproot often leaving the epidermis (the peel) intact.
An infected bulb is pale-brown and, soft and watery. The infected plant appears healthy on the outside and when cut open some of the inner scales are brown, wet, and have a cooked appearance. The neck of the infected bulb is soft when pressed and emits a foul smell. The onion maggot is an important vector in carrying the bacteria from one plant to another and causing wounds for the infection to enter the bulb. Bacterial soft rot often occurs during storage.
The infected fruits collapse and hang like water-filled bags.
An infected tuber has cream to tan colored tissues that are very soft and watery. The diseased area often has a black border separating it from a healthy one. The soft rot decay is generally odorless but becomes foul and slimy when other secondary bacteria invade the infected tissues. Soft rot bacteria can sometimes consume the entire tuber, leaving only its peel in the soil.
Warm, wet conditions favor soft rot development. Therefore, select fields with good drainage. It is best to irrigate at night when dew is present.
Surfactants, which are in most insecticides, also have been shown to increase soft rot severity. Therefore, get insects under control before soft rot begins to develop. If an insecticide must be used when soft rot is present, applications should be made when rain is not forecasted.
Finally, cut heads such that the stem stump is angled to permit water run-off. Water pooling on a flat stump will provide favorable conditions for soft rot. Bacteria in rotting stem stumps can be dispersed to heads not yet harvested.
Potential pathogen hosts include:
Chrysanthemum (P. carotovorum ssp. carotovorum)
- Langston, D.B. (2006). Bacterial black stalk. Forestry Images. Image Number: 5077008. Retrieved: 2010-08-03.
- Bacterial soft rot. PAN Germany. Retrieved: 2010-08-03.
- McGrath, M.T. Canaday, C.H. Managing Bacterial Soft Rot of Broccoli Heads. Cornell University - Department of Plant Pathology, Ithica, NY 14853. Retrieved: 2010-08-03.
- Data Sheets on Quarantine Pests Erwinia chrysanthemi. EPPO quarantine pest.
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|Diseases||Anthracnose of Brassicas · Bacterial soft rot · Black leaf spot · Black rot · Brassica dark leaf spot · Cabbage leaf curl virus · Club root · Downey mildew · Grey leaf spot (Brassica) · Phytophthora root and stem rot · Sclerotinia rot · Turnip mosaic virus · Turnip yellow mosaic virus · White leaf spot (Brassica) · White rust · Wire stem|
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|Adverse conditions||Bruising · Frost · Greening · Magnesium deficiency · Nitrogen deficiency · Oedema · Potassium deficiency · Soft tubers · Spindly sprouts · Split roots · Sun scald|
|Diseases||Alfalfa mosaic virus · Andean potato latent virus · Bacterial soft rot · Black dot · Blackleg · Black potato blight · Alternaria brown spot · Common scab · Dry rot · Early blight · Fusarium wilt · Gangrene · Late blight · Potato deforming rust · Potato leaf roll virus · Potato spindle tuber viroid · Potato virus Y · Potato yellow dwarf virus · Potato yellow vein virus · Powdery scab · Rhizoctonia solani · Ring rot · Septoria leaf spot · Silver scurf · Skin spot · Southern blight · Southern bacterial wilt · Tobacco ringspot virus · Tomato spotted wilt virus · Verticillium wilt · Wart disease|
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