Published Date: 2004-08-07 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/PL> Bacterial ring rot, potato - UK (England)(03)
Archive Number: 20040807.2170
BACTERIAL RING ROT, POTATO - UK (ENGLAND)(03)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 6 Aug 2004
Source: Farmers Weekly Interactive, 04 August 2004 [edited]
Fight to contain potato disease
Growers across the UK are being urged to check their potato seed in the
fight to contain an outbreak of the contagious bacterial ring rot disease.
Defra officials made the plea after it emerged that a Herefordshire farmer
whose potatoes were infected with the disease purchased 2 batches of Dutch
The disease was detected in 2 potato tubers of the Sante variety as they
passed through a packing machine in Cambridgeshire last Friday (30 Jul 2004).
John Mercer, the Hereford farmer whose potatoes contained the disease,
said: "My concerns are that this doesn't get taken out of context and scare
consumers or have a negative effect on the industry."
While it is known that the seed was produced in the Netherlands, Defra
officials could not be sure of its origin.
The situation echoes the case of Welsh farmer John Morgan, whose Provento
seed crop suffered the first ever UK outbreak of ring rot in November 2003.
Both Morgan and Mercer sourced seed through the Dutch company Agrico.
Agrico seed director Jan van Hoogen said: "We are concerned and shocked
that there is another case -- the UK represents a large part of our
business. We are working with the Dutch department of agriculture and have
initiated trials on potatoes from both growers to establish whether the
disease originated in the Netherlands."
van Hoogen also confirmed that Morgan had bought a different batch of seed
to the seed purchased by Mercer.
Morgan said he was devastated when he heard there had been another
outbreak, adding that he really thought that it would be eradicated for the
sake of the industry.
[Byline: Andrew Watts]
[It is essential that the Dutch authorities trace back the origins of the 2
Sante potatoes in order to determine the source of _C. michiganensis_
subsp. _sepedonicus_ (Cms) in this cultivar. Cms is a pathogen for which
there is a world-wide zero tolerance in seed potatoes. An extremely
sensitive, absolutely specific DNA-based detection system was developed for
detecting Cms. Primer sets have been synthesized that enable multiplex
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of 3 single-copy regions of
the bacterial genome in plant cell extracts of infected plant tissue.
Multiplex PCR ELISA, TaqMan, and molecular beacon chemistries based on this
system have proven highly specific and sensitive for Cms detection.
<http://www.apsnet.org/phyto/PDFS/1997/0527-01R.PDF> (PDF) - Mod.DH]