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Bulletin: Detection of potato tuber diseases and defects

Potato Anatomy DiagramGood disease management is critical to the successful production of the white potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). The potato plant is susceptible to at least 75 diseases and non-parasitic disorders, many of which consistently cause yield losses in potato production areas in the northeastern United States. Potatoes are a vegetatively propagated crop, and potato seed tubers can be an important source of disease inoculum. Several types of injury that can influence plant vigor and subsequent yields also occur on seed tubers. The management of many production problems depends on the identification of diseased or defective seed tubers. The objective of this bulletin, by Thomas A. Zitter and Rosemary Loria of the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University, is to aid in the diagnosis of those tuber diseases and defects that most often result in potato production problems. Twenty selected diseases and defects that affect potato tubers are discussed. Symptoms of these diseases and disorders, as they appear on the tubers, are described and illustrated. More