EEUU: New strains of potato-threatening pathogens discovered in Pennsylvania
Researchers from Penn State have reported the identification of new pathogen strains posing a threat to Pennsylvania’s potato crops.
Their findings, published in the Systematic and Applied Microbiology journal, are expected to aid in the development of management strategies.
The team collected potato stems and tubers exhibiting black leg or soft rot symptoms from 26 potato fields across Pennsylvania. These diseases, primarily caused by bacteria belonging to the Pectobacterium and Dickeya species, can result in significant crop losses.
Out of the 456 samples of bacteria infecting the potatoes, six Pectobacterium species and one Dickeya strain were identified. These had not been previously reported in Pennsylvania. Moreover, one Pectobacterium species was reported for the first time in the US.
Carolee Bull, the study’s corresponding author, believes these findings could guide the detection and quantification of pathogens causing blackleg and soft rot, not only in Pennsylvania but also in other regions. She further stated that understanding disease epidemiology could help predict the severity of these diseases under varying climate conditions.
Bull also highlighted the recent observation of numerous new Pectobacterium and Dickeya species, which have caused significant yield losses in the northeast US, especially in Maine and New York.