Potato early dying disease: A major yield-limiting factor in Canada

Potato early dying (PED) is also known as early die and early maturity wilt. This disease is endemic in many fields with a long history of potato production, writes Dr Khalil Al-Mughrabi, potato specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in New Brunswick province. There is increased pressure on Canadian processing potato production to increase productivity to remain competitive in regional and global markets. PED is a major yield-limiting factor in all major potato production areas of Canada, Al-Mughrabi writes. PED results in premature vine senescence and can limit potato tuber yield by as much as 50 per cent. The disease is primarily caused by the fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, but co-infection of potato by both V. dahliae and the root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus penetrans, can greatly increase the severity of the disease. Read more