Potential control of blackleg and wet rot in seed potatoes and flower bulbs discovered

  • Robert Czajkowski

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    The bacterial diseases blackleg and wet rot represent a major challenge to growers of seed potatoes and flower bulbs. They cause substantial economic damage worldwide, including tens of millions of euros in the Netherlands alone. There are no ways to control these pathogens nor are there any resistant varieties. Robert Czajkowski, employed by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) and working at Plant Research International, part of Wageningen UR, has discovered how the organism that causes blackleg and wet rot, the Dickeya bacteria (Erwinia), spreads in the potato plant. He also discovered an antagonistic bacterium that can be used to control the Dickeya bacteria. With his ‘Ecology and control of Dickeya spp. in potato’ research, Czajkowski hopes to obtain his doctorate from Prof. Dr. J.A. van Veen at the Leiden University

    Period8 Sept 2011

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