Growers in northern Queensland are seeing increased pressure from Bacterial Spot disease (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria).
Bacterial Spot infection can cause significant damage in fresh market pepper production.
Symptoms of Bacterial Spot first appear on leaf undersurfaces as small, irregular, water-soaked areas. Later, lesions enlarge, turn dark brown to black with a pale tan centre and may develop a thin, yellow halo. Generally, lesions on upper leaf surfaces are slightly sunken, and those on lower leaf surfaces are slightly raised. Leaves that are severely infected often turn chlorotic and appear ragged. Defoliation occurs under heavy disease pressure, exposing fruit to damage from the sun and wind. Stem lesions appear as narrow, light brown, longitudinally raised cankers. Fruit spots begin as water-soaked areas that later turn necrotic, these spots are rough in appearance and crack as they develop.
It’s important to notice symptoms as soon as possible. There are certain strains that may only affect peppers, a strain that might only affect tomatoes and a strain that has the potential to infect both. This can be a major issue when the two crops are being grown near each other. Disease resistance in an important component of disease control.
Seminis’ Capsicum breeder, Dr. Brian Just will be in North Queensland in late June to assess trials and speak with growers about managing Bacterial Spot and other diseases.
If you’re in North Queensland and interested to learn more, join us at our field event on 28 June 2018. Look out for more information shortly.