Despite potential for disease, Georgia’s grape industry is thriving

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

Georgia’s grape industry, once dormant, is now thriving, according to Phillip Brannen, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension fruit plant pathologist. Growing potential for prosperity in the wine industry will require that farmers stay vigilant about certain diseases, like Pierce’s disease, that could negatively impact production.

“Pierce’s disease is the major disease to limit European grapes in Georgia. It is caused by a bacterium that is transmitted by numerous sharpshooter insects, such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter. It clogs the grape xylem, cutting off nutrient and water flow,” Brannen said. Continue reading

Recognizing sweet potato black rot and scurf

In North Carolina Plant Pathology

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Black rot of sweetpotato is caused by the seed and soil borne fungus Ceratocystis fimbriata.  Root symptoms include large circular, brownish to black, dry rots. Plant symptoms in the field include plant stunting, wilting, yellowing, leaf drop, and death. Infections start in the field but can further develop in storage and even small lesions in the root can cause devastating damage if conditions favor disease.

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