Both are quarantine diseases of potato listed in the EC Plant Health Directive and are notifiable in the UK. Their introduction would have serious financial implications for potato producers in UK through significant crop losses if they were to become established.
Both bacteria can cause wilting of the potato plant but the symptoms you are most likely to see are in the tuber.
Ring rot is generally found in areas of cooler climates, and is especially prevalent in Eastern and Northern Europe. Bacterial ring rot of potato is caused by the bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus. Yield losses are caused by tuber rotting and can reach 50%.
Brown rot is caused by the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum. Yield losses are mostly caused by tuber rotting.
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A number of bacterial pathogens are capable of causing rots of potato tubers, most importantly during storage of the crop. The pathogen found most frequently in the UK is Pectobacterium carotovorum , but Pectobacterium atrosepticum and Dickeya species may also be involved.Tuber rotting can also develop following infection by the quarantine organisms Ralstonia solanacearum (brown rot) and Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus (ring rot). The majority of growers will, hopefully, never see either of these diseases, but should be aware of their symptoms.
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