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Bacterial ring rot potato disease

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

The cause of ring rot potato disease is bacterium called Clavibacter michiganense subsp. sepedonicus. It causes disease only on potatoes.

Symptoms of potato ring rot

ring-rotThe disease is called “ring rot” because the rot appears in the vascular ring of the potato tuber.
In severely cases the vascular ring is brown to black in color, often with cheesy or creamy ooze and many hollow spaces where the flesh has disintegrated.
Dry cracks can usually be found on the surface of the tubers.
In milder cases, the vascular ring may show only broken, black lines or a yellowish discoloration.
Leaves of infected with ring pot potato plants may show intervened yellowing, wilting, or no symptoms.

Getting rid of ring rot

  • TOTAL clean up and then clean all storages and potato equipment thoroughly at least once annually.
    To do this, first remove all soil and plant debris then use a recommended disinfectant.
  • When planting potatoes, use only certified disease free seed, and disinfect all between seed lots. Use cup rather than pick type planters to minimize wounding.
  • Since it is impossible to disinfect old bags use only new bags for seed.
  • If disease is found, dispose of all potatoes as soon as possible then thoroughly disinfect the premises as described previously.
  • Get rid of, or sterilize, all potentially contaminated disposables: gloves, knives, overalls, etc.
  • Practice crop rotation and do not plant potatoes in an infested field for 2 seasons.

Once a crop or farm is infested with the bacteria, the disease will carry over from year to year and spread quickly.

The potato ring rot bacteria can survive for 2 to 5 years in dried slime on the surface of machinery, crates, bins or burlap sacking, even if frozen.

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