Late April 2011 Late Blight Status

Kate Everts, Vegetable Pathologist, University of Delaware and University of Maryland;

Currently there are a few reports of late blight (caused by Phytophthora infestans) from elsewhere in the United States. In Connecticut late blight was confirmed on tomatoes grown from farmer-saved seed, and on potatoes grown from organic seed pieces (cultivar ‘Australian Crescent’). In Wisconsin, late blight has also been confirmed on potatoes seed. Again, these confirmations are not local; however, increased scrutiny of tomato and potato for symptoms is warranted.

Symptoms on tomato leaves are lesions that initially appear as light green or grey water soaked areas that expand. Sporulation is white to grey on the under surface of the leaf. Infected leaves die. Petioles and stem lesions are dark brown and irregular.

Figure 1. Symptoms of late blight on a tomato leaf and stem (Courtesy of E. Gugino, The Pennsylvania State University).


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