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Bacterial canker: How to identify and treat bacterial canker in tomatoes

Bacterial canker (a.k.a. Corina), first described in 1910 in North America, is caused by the bacterial pathogen Clavibacter (Corynebacterium) michiganensis subsp. michiganensis. It is a sporadic, but very important and aggressive pathogen of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) that can now be found in many countries throughout the world. Its occurrence tends to be erratic with several years of low reporting being followed by occasional years where the disease reaches epidemic proportions in one or other regions of the world. There is evidence for strain variation in the bacterium with some strains producing less severe symptoms than others. Whilst tomato is the primary host crop natural infections have also been reported on sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum), eggplant (Solanum melongena) and on several weed species in the Solanaceae e.g. S. nigrum, S. douglasii and S. trifolium. In addition, several weed species, including non-solanaceous hosts, have been demonstrated to act as reservoirs for epiphytic survival and spread though the full implications of this with respect to disease epidemics is not fully understood. Download the Nursery management plan to learn more about the prevention of bacterial canker and how to threat the disease.

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