Potato Ring Rot


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Potato Ring Rot

 

a bacterial disease that affects the vascular tissue of potatoes.

The causative agent is Corynebacterium sepedonicum. The leaves of diseased plants turn yellow and wilt; if the infection is severe, the entire plant dies. When the tubers are cut, creamy yellow rings of affected vascular tissue, which later turn black, are visible in the early stages of the disease; there is also a yellowish mucoid mass of bacteria. Potato ring rot progresses while the potatoes are in storage. Another form of the disease— yellow pitted rot—arises as a result of the infection of healthy tubers while they are being harvested and manifests itself in March and April. Small round depressions with decayed, yellowed flesh appear on the tubers. Control measures consist in selecting healthy planting material, planting potatoes in whole tubers, cultivating resistant varieties, and carrying out general agrotechnical measures for improving the condition of plants.

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Dutch potatoes were the source of the first outbreak of potato ring rot in Britain - found at one of the country's biggest seed potato merchants at Middlewood Farm, in Bwlch near Brecon in 2003.
Graham Nichols, vice-chairman of NFU Horticulture, representing potatoes, said: "While this outbreak of potato ring rot is of great concern, it must be remembered that this is a one-off outbreak that has been caused by the use of imported seed.
Ring rot response:Uk environment minister Ben Bradshaw has accepted 53 of the 54 recommendations from an investigation into the first outbreak of potato ring rot in Britain.
It is easy to see the frightening parallels between foot-and- mouth and potato ring rot.
Potato ring rot poses no threat to humans but is potentially devastating to potato crops and causes annual crop losses of some 50%.
The case of the seed potato grower from Brecon who was hit by potato ring rot is a case in point.
Brecon farmer John Morgan, hit by potato ring rot, was an example.
That is the advice of the British Potato Council following the discovery of potato ring rot - a disease hitherto unknown in Britain - on a Welsh farm and three others in the South-West of England.
Disease status: Potato ring rot is a serious disease that is listed in EC plant health legislation and results in host farms or companies facing quarantine restrictions.
Welsh Minister Don Touhig said potato ring rot detected on Middlewood Farm, Bwlch probably arrived in seed imported from the Netherlands last year.
UK Welsh Minister Don Touhig told MPs the potato ring rot detected on a Welsh farm is believed to have been found on potatoes grown from seed imported from Holland last year.
But the Assembly said it was doing all it could to minimise the damage already caused by potato ring rot.