North America: Guarding against Dickeya

With clean seed recognized as the best defence against this new blackleg-causing pathogen, the demand for Dickeya testing is growing fast. After triggering major crop losses in the United States, Dickeya has been dominating the potato meetings circuit in North America for the past year or two. In Canada, some of the discussions revolve around the consequences for growers should the new disease makes its way into this country — but some industry experts maintain Dickeya is likely already here. “I don’t know what the extent is [in Canada], but we found Dickeya in samples that were sent to us from Ontario and from New Brunswick,” says Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University (NDSU). “I think that certainly the potential is there for Dickeya to be present and I think the Canadian farmer should be aware of that and take it seriously.” More