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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Corn

Bacterial Soft Rot

Pathogen: Erwinia (Pectobacterium) spp.

(Reviewed 1/06, updated 8/08)

In this Guideline:


SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

Bacterial soft rot first appears as rapid desiccation of youngest leaves. A soft, watery rot of leaf tissue occurs inside the leaf whorl. The rot, which has an unpleasant odor, may kill the growing point of the plant.

COMMENTS ON THE DISEASE

The disease is most commonly encountered in sprinkler-irrigated fields or when unseasonal rains occur. The bacteria are probably soilborne, and are carried into the whorl on soil particles. The mode of entry of the bacteria into the plant tissue is not clearly understood. It has been suggested that certain insecticides damage tissue inside the leaf whorl.

MANAGEMENT

Generally, no management of this disease is practiced. If soft rot develops, avoid sprinkler irrigation.

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Corn
UC ANR Publication 3443
Diseases
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

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