Major Fungal and Bacterial Diseases of Potato and their Management

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Abstract

Potato is an important crop which holds promise for food to millions of people especially in developing countries. Full potential of the crop can be realized only if diseases that affect the crop are kept under control. Major fungal diseases such as late blight, early blight, black scurf, fusarial wilt/dry rot, wart, powdery scab, charcoal rot and major bacterial diseases like soft rot, common scab, bacterial wilt and brown rot cause considerable loss to potato production in field and otherwise. Diseases such as late blight, early blight, fusarial wilt and black leg primarily affect the crop/foliage where as diseases such as black scurf, wart, powdery scab and common scab disfigure the tubers and reduce their market value. Some tuber diseases such as dry rots appear mostly in storage while others such as soft rot affect potato tubers at every stage i.e. in field, storage and in the transit and may cause substantial loss under certain conditions. Major fungal and bacterial diseases affecting potato crop are reviewed here with respect to their identifiation, symptoms on potato plants or tubers, nature of the pathogen involved, epidemiology, control measures etc.