Project to Sample for Presence of Dickeya dianthicola in Soil and Water

Nathan Kleczewski, Extension Specialist – Plant Pathology;

Dickeya dianthicola is a bacterium that causes a blackleg-like disease, being different from traditional blackleg in that the disease can spread more rapidly with less initial inoculum in the soil. Research from Europe indicates that unlike Pectobacterium, the bacterium we typically associate with true blackleg, Dickeya do not overwinter in the absence of a host. However, with the recent issues associated with Dickeya associated with certain seed production areas, growers have a right to know if additional rotational considerations need to be considered to help manage this disease. To help address this question, we are collaborating with plant pathologists familiar with Dickeya to ascertain if Dickeya can be detected in DE fields and water. This information will not only provide you, the grower, with valuable piece of mind, but will also help provide useful information that will ultimately help improve potato producer productivity.

If you are interested in participating in the work, please contact Phillip Sylvester ( or 302-730-4000). All results will be kept confidential.