Investigating Bacterial Canker of a Tomato Plant with Becca Hall

July 31, 2019


The bacterial canker pathogen is spread long distances and introduced to new areas through infected seed or transplants. The disease easily spreads between seedlings in a transplant production greenhouse through workers' hands, equipment, and pruning and clipping of transplants, so one infected seed can potentially result in many infected transplants, through which the disease can become established in high tunnels or fields. Transplants may be infected yet not initially show symptoms. In the field, infected transplants often die and secondary spread is limited or of little economic impact. However, in tunnels or greenhouses, the disease easily spreads between transplants and between older plants through practices like pruning and staking and can result in severe symptoms and yield loss. The pathogen survives up to three years on non-decomposed tomato plant debris and can survive for several months on stakes and equipment, thereby readily infecting tomatoes planted in the same tunnel the following season.