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R454 Blackleg Survey

Publication Date: 
22 December 2016
Author/Contact :
John Elphinstone

Contractor :

Full Research Project Title: Blackleg Survey – English and Welsh Seed Crops
Duration: Annual survey (2010- 2015 growing seasons)

Aim: To provide information on the bacteria causing blackleg in seed crops.




A survey of seed potato stocks in England and Wales has been conducted since 2010 with AHDB Potatoes support. Samples of infected plants from all stocks in which blackleg was observed by Plant Health Seed Inspectors (PHSI) during classification inspections are submitted to Fera for diagnosis. The initial focus of the work was to understand incidence and distribution of 'Dickeya solani ' and D. dianthicola in UK-grown seed. In 2013, additional work was included to help understand the sources of contamination of pre-basic seed crops with Pectobacterium atrosepticum (Pba). This involved the use of a new strain typing (VNTR) method in which DNA analysis was used to compare the Pba isolates collected from blackleg plants and their progeny tubers with the isolates in the surrounding environment and on associated machinery.

The results of the 2010 survey were published as part of the report for project R437. The results of the subsequent surveys are provided below. See also project 114R475 for more information on blackleg in seed crops


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