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1. a highly flammable material, such as Greek fire, formerly used in warfare
2. lightning without audible thunder
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an infectious disease of tobacco and Indian tobacco caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas tabacum. Wildfire is characterized by the appearance of numerous pale yellow chlorotic spots, reaching 2 cm in diameter, on the leaves and, sometimes, on the sepals and pods. The diseased areas desiccate in dry weather and rot in humid weather, which often leads to the perforation of the leaves. The causative agent of wildfire enters the plant through the stomata and damaged tissues. The bacterium is preserved in dust that has settled in drying sheds or clinged to seeds and to greenhouse stock; it is also preserved in the unrotted remains of a harvest. Wildfire decreases harvests by 40 to 50 percent. Prices for tobacco leaves drop by 80 percent when the leaves are diseased.

Control measures include using liquid disinfectants on seeds, disinfecting greenhouse stock, spraying seedlings with Bordeaux mixture during the phase of two true leaflets, and growing resistant varieties. The application of potash fertilizers and autumn plowing are also recommended.


Grushevoi, S. E. Bolezni tabaka i sistema meropriiatii po bor’be s nimi. Moscow, 1950.
Leonov, I. P., A. G. Petrenko, and G. M. Psarev. Posobie dlia tabakovodov. Moscow, 1968.


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


(plant pathology)
A bacterial disease of tobacco caused by Pseudomonas tabaci and characterized by the appearance of brown spots surrounded by yellow rings, which turn dark, rot, and fall out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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