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clubroot, disease of cabbages, turnips, radishes, and other plants belonging to the family Cruciferae (or Brassicaceae; mustard family). It is induced by a plasmodial slime mold that attacks the roots, causing, in the cabbage, undeveloped heads or a failure to head at all. Clubroot can be partially or in some cases completely controlled by the application of lime (if the soil is very acid), by rotation of crops, and by soil sterilization. The disease is also called finger-and-toe from the swollen shape it gives to roots. Plasmodial slime molds (phylum, or division, Myxomycota) are classified in the kingdom Protista.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a disease attacking the roots of plants of the family Cruciferae, caused by the fungus Plasmodiophora brassicae. Most frequently it damages cabbage. Growths and swellings form on the roots; subsequently they decay and disappear. As a result, the root system develops weakly, and the plant becomes very stunted. The disease is widespread in the USSR and is most harmful in the nonchernozem zone. After the swellings decompose, the fungal spores get into the soil and grow into motile amoeboids that penetrate the roots of plants. After a complex process of development, the amoeboids form plasmodia, which decay and become spores when they reach maturity. The spores are dispersed by implements for tilling the soil, transplants, irrigation, earthworms, and soil insects. The disease develops best in a temperature of 18–24°C and a weak acid soil with 75–90 percent moisture content.

Countermeasures in hot beds and nurseries include the replacement of the contaminated soil or the disinfection of the soil by thermal or chemical treatment. Protective measures in open land include correct crop rotation, the use of hardy varieties, liming the soil, transplanting the seedlings at an early date, and weed eradication.


Gerasimov, B. A., and E. A. Osnitskaia. Vrediteli i bolezni ovoshchnykh kul’tur, 4th ed. Moscow, 1961.
Zashchita ovoshchnykh kul’tur v zakrytom grunte ot vreditelei i boleznei. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(plant pathology)
A disease principally of crucifers, such as cabbage, caused by the slime mold Plasmodiophora brassicae in which roots become enlarged and deformed, leading to plant death.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
| Club root could force you to move your cauliflowers
Walking into a field is not always easy but being knowledgeable about club root could help you get permission.
Cabbage grown in a soil with a pH reading below 7.2 may succumb to club root: a fungus that likes acid soil.
Quiz of the Day ANSWERS: 1 In the name of the state of Delaware; 2 Pot Black; 3 Termites; 4 London; 5 Club root; 6 Ruth Ellis; 7 Roddy Doyle; 8 Guyana; 9 22 yards; 10 Anton Du Beke.
Club root, so named because infected roots are swollen and stubby, is the scourge of the brassica family - cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
Firstly, natural resistance of a plant to a particular pest or disease has been known about for centuries but now, with modern breeding programmes, a need to garden in a more environmentally friendly manner and, dare I say it, genetic modification, we are able to produce fruit and vegetable varieties that have known resistance to problems - modern varieties of brassicas that are known to resist club root are an obvious example.
Meanwhile, Carole Baxter visits George Anderson's own garden to battle the dreaded club root. They'll be trying out a few methods to treat it and will follow George throughout the season to find out what works.
The only items which need burning are diseased plants such as tomatoes and potatoes hit by blight and brassicas with club root etc.
CLUB root affects brassicas, stocks and wallflowers.
Q MY cabbage patch was a failure this year due to club root. I took over the vegetable patch after my husband died and most other plants were good except the potatoes, which had scab.
It does help to sweeten acid soil, provides a small amount of phosphorus (1-2%) and potassium (3-7%), and can be helpful in the fight against the cabbage and onion root maggot (spread a ring of ashes round each plant at planting time and renew after watering or rain), and may aid in the prevention of the soil-borne fungus club root which can infect broccoli plants (mix the ashes into the soil around the base of each plant).
This year has been a terrible one for club root for many people.