Systemic colonization of potato plants resulting from potato haulm inoculation with Dickeya solani or Pectobacterium parmentieri

P. Kastelein, M.G. Förch, M.C. Krijger, P.S. van der Zouwen, W. van den Berg, J.M. van der Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In two glasshouse experiments, colonization of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) plants by the bacterial pathogens Dickeya solani and Pectobacterium parmentieri was studied after leaf infection. Leaves, whether or not artificially wounded, were spray-inoculated with various densities of green-fluorescent protein tagged strains of the pathogens, avoiding contamination of soil during inoculation. Microscopy analysis indicated that both pathogens were able to penetrate and colonize hydathodes, stomata and wounds of inoculated leaves. Dickeya solani was detected at 42 days after inoculation in leaves, stems, stolons and occasionally in tubers, whereas P. parmentieri was restricted to leaves, stems and stolons, and could not be detected in tubers. The infection percentage was higher for plants with wounded leaves than for plants with untouched leaves, and higher at higher inoculum densities. Nevertheless, infection of leaves could also occur at low densities of D. solani (102 cfu mL−1). We further investigated the risks for translocation of the pathogens from infected haulms through soil into progeny tubers after haulm destruction. In a glasshouse experiment, populations of the pathogens increased in haulms in the first week after chemical or mechanical destruction, but decreased in the second week. For P. parmentieri, transmission occurred from destroyed haulms via soil into progeny tubers in soil, but not for D. solani.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalCanadian Journal of Plant Pathology = Revue Canadienne de Phytopathologie
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • blackleg
  • Confocal laser scanning microscopy
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • GFP-tagged strains
  • haulm destruction
  • leaf wounding
  • slow wilt


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