Natural Infections of Potato Plants Grown from Minitubers with Blackleg-Causing Soft Rot Pectobacteriaceae

Jan van der Wolf*, Marjon Krijger, Odette Mendes, Viola Kurm, Jack Gros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Information on the infection incidence of blackleg-causing soft rot Pectobacteriaceae (BL-SRP) in potato crops grown from minitubers (PB1-crop) and the distribution of BL-SRP in individual plants was collected during a two-year survey conducted at five potato growers located in the Netherlands. In the last weeks before haulm destruction, leaves, stems, and tubers of 100 or 200 plants were analyzed separately for the presence of Pectobacterium parmentieri, P. brasiliense, P. atrosepticum, and Dickeya spp. Extracted plant parts enriched for BL-SRP were analyzed with TaqMan assays specific for the detection of blackleg-causing BL-SRP. In 2019, low incidences of P. parmentieri (1–6%) in leaves were found at four growing sites. At one farm, reactions were detected in TaqMan assays for D. zeae and D. chrysanthemi in leaves. In 2020, the crops of two growers were largely free from BL-SRP. At one farm, a high infection incidence (21%) was found for D. fangzhongdai in tubers. The isolated pathogen was able to cause potato blackleg. At two other farms, high infection incidences in tubers were found with P. brasiliense (35–39%) and P. parmentieri (12–19%), whereas the incidence of P. brasiliense in leaves was also high (8%). In conclusion, high infection incidences with BL-SRP in potatoes can be found in a PB1 crop at the end of the growing season. Infections in individual plants were found either in tubers or in leaves. The potential sources of initial infection are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2504
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • airborne infection
  • Dickeya
  • gapA sequencing
  • infection source
  • initial infection
  • Pectobacterium
  • soilborne infection
  • TaqMan


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