Potato diseases remain for Western Australia crop

Image result for Dickeya dianthicola potatoThe blight of the WA potato industry is worse than originally reported and it is unclear how and when things will improve now that WA farmers will have to live with the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) and Dickeya dianthicola bacteria. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) confirmed last week that five properties in the potato-growing areas north and south of Perth have had quarantines lifted after extensive work in tracing the origins of the Dickeya dianthicola bacteria. The bacteria was detected for the first time in June in a potato crop north of Perth, prompting an immediate biosecurity response. Dickeya dianthicola can cause blackleg and soft rot diseases in potatoes and affect other horticultural crops. DPIRD had developed a rapid and high-throughput PCR test for Dickeya dianthicola – the first of its kind to be used in Australia. More