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A selection of potato tubers showing gangrene
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Dothideomycetes
Subclass: Pleosporomycetidae
Order: Pleosporales
Family: Incertae sedis
Genus: Phoma
Species: Phoma exigua var. foveata
Phoma foveata
Phoma solanicola f. foveata

Gangrene (Phoma exigua var. foveata.) is a disease of potato tubers occuring during storage.[1]

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

Symptoms first appear as small dark depressions associated with wounds, eyes or lenticels. The depression can enlarge to form larger irregularly shaped areas. Gangrene also causes an internal rot beneath the superficial depressions, which is characterised by extensive cavities with walls which are discoloured and lined by dark grey or pinkish-purple strands of the fungus. The extent of the internal rots is not related to the size of the diseased area on the surface, and it is common to find relatively minor surface damage masking extensive internal damage.[2]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

None. Destroy infected tubers immediately.

Prevention[edit | edit source]

Only plant uninfected seed potatoes bought from a reputable source. Be careful not to damage tubers when checking the crop or harvesting. Harvest potatoes soon after defoliation, especially during cold periods. If possible, cure potatoes at 16-20°C (60-68°F) for one to two weeks after harvest. Curing aids in the healing of tubers, which is slower at colder temperatures.[2]

References[edit | edit source]


  1. Hessayon, D.G. (2009). The Vegetable & Herb Expert. Transworld Publishers, London. p. 85. ISBN 9780903505468
  2. a b Osborn, R. (1995). Potatoes - phoma or gangrene. Department of Primary Industries. Victoria, Australia. Retrieved: 2010-07-30