Aerial Stem Rot and Dickeya

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Symptoms of Dickeya dianthicola on potato Symptoms of Dickeya dianthicola on potato Dr. Nora Olsen, University of Idaho

Soft rot bacteria have caused problems in potatoes for many years. A new species identified as Dickeya has recently been a source of great concern.   

Many growers have heard about this "new" kind of soft rot bacterium called Dickeya in recent meetings. Potato production in the eastern US has been severely affected in some cases. Aerial vine rot and soft rot caused by Dickeya can be significantly more severe than when Pectobacterium (formerly Erwinia) is the cause. You can learn more about Dickeya, see examples of symptoms, and learn management practices through the following resources:


Bacterial Soft Rot (Idaho Potato Diseases)


University of Wisconsin Vegetable Crop Update, May 7, 2017 (see pages 3-6).


Dickeya Blackleg: New Potato Disease Causing Major Impact (Cornell University Vegetable MD Online)


Dickeya: A New Threat to Potato Production in North America


If you suspect Dickeya is present in your potato fields this year, contact the nearest university extension office. They can arrange to have the sample tested to confirm whether the cause is Dickeya or Pectobacterium.



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