23 Sep 2017

Biosecurity alert: Dickeya dianthicola

What is Dickeya dianthicola?

Dickeya dianthicola causes soft rot and blackleg in potatoes. It is a serious pest (bacterium) that was not previously known to occur in Australia. Overseas data has indicated significant yield losses in potato crops.

Dickeya dianthicola can also infect other crops, including some ornamentals (including carnation, lily, chrysanthemum, dahlia, begonia, flaming Katy, freesia, hyacinth and iris), globe arichoke and chicory.

Other pathogens already present in Australia can cause similar soft rot and blackleg symptoms. However, Dickeya dianthicola is more aggressive and causes disease at lower infection levels.

This pest is not associated with the tomato potato psyllid.

The Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has confirmed the detection of Dickeya dianthicola in seed potatoes and dormant dahlia tubers in Western Australia, and is responding with measures to contain the pest, determine spread and assess the feasibility of eradication.

Dickeya dianthicola is a serious bacterium that can cause tuber soft rot and blackleg in potatoes, and can also affect some ornamental varieties, chicory and artichoke.

Growers of these crops are urged to check plants and tubers, and report any suspect symptoms.

Read more regarding the threat here.

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