Penetration of potato tuber lenticels by bacteria in relation to biological control of blackleg disease
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In a glasshouse experiment three potato cultivars were grown to maturity in wet or dry compost. The number of lenticels per tuber was greater with larger tubers but was unaffected by the cultivar or soil moisture regime. The frequency of lenticel penetration by a water soluble stain, safranin O, remained high as tubers developed to maturity in wet soil. In dry soil penetration declined markedly as the tubers matured. When tubers, harvested just before the onset of haulm senescence, were inoculated withErwinia carotovora ssp.atroseptica, the frequency of lenticel rotting was less than the rate of stain penetration, indicating that additional factors were involved in the bacterial infection process. Inoculating mature tubers with bacteria and incubating them in anaerobic conditions frequently resulted in rotting of the lenticels. Comparable tubers incubated in aerobic conditions showed no rotting or invasion by bacteria. The results are discussed in relation to the biological control of blackleg.
Additional keywordssafranin stain fluorescent brightener Erwinia carotovora ssp.atroseptica tuber development Solanum tuberosum L.
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