• Potato scab

Streptomyces species are the cause of two different scab diseases on potatoes in South Africa. Several Streptomyces species, including S. caviscabiei, S. europascabiei, S. scabiei and S. stelliscabiei, are the causal agents of common scab of potato. A novel Streptomyces species associated with different symptoms than those of common scab, was identified by researchers at ARC-VOP in 2012. This disease, called fissure scab, is an emerging threat to potato production in South Africa. Current research at ARC-VOP include screening of potato cultivars for resistance to both types of scab diseases. Development of a molecular diagnostic test for fissure scab is also underway.

Contact: Dr Rene Sutherland and Dr Michele Cloete

  • Bacterial wilt of potatoes

Ralstonia solanacearum is regarded as one of the world's most important bacterial plant pathogens because of its aggressiveness, large host range, broad geographical distribution and long persistence in soil and water environments. The survival of R. solanacearum in South African soil under different temperature and moisture conditions are investigated and knowledge regarding the survival limits in soil will be helpful to define control strategies for this devastating pathogen.

Contact: Dr Rene Sutherland

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Typical common scab symptoms on a potato tuber
Fissure scab symptoms on a potato tuber

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