Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Dickeya spp.
Blackleg begins with planting infected seed. Seed can be infected during seed production, handling, cutting, and planting. Infected seed pieces sometimes rot before emergence — this is called seed piece decay. Not all infected plants produce symptoms, but can still pass the infection to progeny tubers and therefore into storage.
Blackleg occurs everywhere potatoes are grown.
- Prevention is key.
- Know your seed source — healthy seed is critical.
- Sanitize seed cutting equipment between lots by cleaning all soil and debris from cutting equipment and applying a disinfestant.
- Plant well-suberized seed into well-drained soil of 50-58 degrees F.