While most blueberry cultivars are highly disease and pest resistant, some are susceptible to a deadly disease known as stem blight. In addition to twig blight and canker, the fungus causes a fruit rot. Editor’s Note: The Jan. 3, 2013 issue of the “Small Fruit Update”, published by Peerbolt Crop Management in Portland, OR, featured an in-depth look at bacterial blight in blueberries. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing. Receive Email Notifications for New Publications. Since stem blight is most damaging to young plantings, heavy pruning to promote rapid growth should be avoided in 1- to 2-year-old plantings; pruning in young plantings should be limited to removal of stem blight-infected canes. Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) A&T State University, in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee "Flagging," a symptom of stem blight of blueberry, caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea. These spores germinate and invade the vascular tissue of the host, causing a pecan-brown discoloration which extends up and down the stem from the infection point, eventually killing the stem. I have seen these Botryosphaeria stem blight symptoms in multiple fields in multiple counties. Mummy berry is a fungal disease that causes the berries to shrivel and drop. Blossoms may shrivel prematurely as if injured by frost. A wide range of other pathogen types can also cause economic loss, ranging from the virus-like blueberry stunt phytoplasma to dodder (Cuscuta sp. Botryosphaeria stem blight of southern blueberries: effect of fertilization, temperature, and Botryosphaeriaceae species on lesion - (Peer Reviewed Journal) Effect of nitrogen fertilization and fungicides on Botryosphaeria stem blight lesion development on detached stems - (Peer Reviewed Journal) Smith, B.J., Miller Butler, M.A. The most resistant highbush cultivars, Bluechip and Rubel averaged lesion lengths of 26 mm. Site selection when establishing new plantings appears to play a part in the severity of stem blight. Blighted blossoms on lowbush blueberry caused by Botrytis cinerea ... if the variety is very susceptible the cankers may kill the stem. Both highbush and rabbiteye cultivars are susceptible to this disease. Blueberry stem blight has become one of the most severe diseases influencing blueberry productivity and quality in China. Figure 4. Stem blight of blueberry is especially dangerous on 1- to 2-year plants, but it affects mature bushes as well. Spores are disseminated by rainwater. Blueberry stem blight, caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea, is the primary disease limiting establishment of blueberry plantings in southeastern North Carolina. Vascular pathogens (fungal and bacterial) represent constant challenges for southern highbush blueberry (SHB) growers. Botrytis blight is a fungus that also attacks the shoots, but it also infects the blossoms and causes them to turn brown or become covered with gray, fuzzy mold. Bacterial canker can be particularly severe on young plants in new plantings because a high proportion of the wood is succulent and susceptible to disease. Otherwise, the disease will remain in the stem and continue on down to the crown, possibly killing the plant. Control of this disease depends on cultural methods; fungicidal chemicals do not provide adequate protection. — Read our Many plants are also susceptible to dieback fungi, including roses and citrus as well as blueberries. Blueberries with stem blight experience cane death, which can result in the fatality of the plant if it is widespread. Polashock, J. J., and Kramer, M. 2006. Losses from this disease can be serious. Abstract Botryosphaeria stem blight, caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea, is a destructive disease of rabbiteye (Vacciniu,n ache!) Check the cut end and if you see brown tissue, make another cut further down the stem until you no longer find brown tissue. Lowbush cultivars were the most resistant including ‘Chignecto and ‘Blomidon’. In some years and locations, twig blight can be severe, with over 100 blighted twigs per bush. Potential but infrequent disease problems include stem blight, root rot, anthracnose, cane cankers, mildew and botrytis. ... Botrytis blossom blight (Gray mold) Botrytis cinerea. Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Below zero temperatures (-0°F) have also been observed to cause cracking in the forks of blueberry stems, which has resulted in wound-related epidemics in March and April. Most recently-released blueberry cultivars have some resistance to stem blight. Blueberry Botrytis Blight (fungus – Botrytis cinerea): Under high humidity and mild temperatures this fungus can attack blooms and tender growth. Fusicoccum Canker or Godronia Canker (Godronia cassandrae): Fusicoccum canker is caused by a fungus that infects blueberry stems causing dieback and plant decline. On soils with a high organic content (>5%), new plantings can be established without the use of fertilizer. Both highbush and rabbiteye cultivars are susceptible to this disease, which enters the plant through wounds and causes rapid death of individual canes and entire bushes. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status. Pruning can be done anytime infected stems are observed, but care should be taken to cut well below the infected area. Avoid growing the blueberry in either very sandy or very mucky soil. The fungus often enters the blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) commitment to diversity. Pruning to remove infected stems is the best method of reducing disease in established fields. In most cases, stem blight finishes the job, but other stresses play a lead or contributory role. Epidemiology and chemical control of phomopsis canker of highbush blueberry. Cultivars which are known to be very susceptible to stem blight should be avoided in areas where stem blight has been a problem. Algal stem blotch has become a significant disease on southern highbush blueberries (SHB) in Florida. This disease occurs in most blueberry-growing regions and is present at low levels in most fields. ... A few blueberry varieties vary in their resistance to the twig blight phase. A stem blight-infected stem will have a uniform, light brown discoloration in the wood extending down the infected side of the stem. How to Care for an Umbrella Plant Capella, How to Start Blueberry Plants From Another Grown Plant, Southern Living: Blueberries – Essential Southern Plant, North Carolina State University: Stem Blight of Blueberry, How to Stop Tomato Blight with Copper Wire. syringaeand is a problem in production areas west of the Cascade Mountains. More commonly referred to as dieback, stem blight on a blueberry is caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea. Further diagnosis can be accomplished by removing a wilting stem that has both dead and healthy portions and splitting it longitudinally. This avoids new growth that may be damaged by frost, allowing a path of entry for the fungal pathogen. Although hardiness varies widely by species and cultivar, most blueberry bushes thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10. In this study, eight fungal isolates were obtained from twenty stem blight lesions of blueberry collected in Nanping, Fujian province, China. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. Botryosphaeria stem blight lesions on blueberry. Never prune blueberries in their first or second years, except to remove infected stems. 4). The fungus overwinters as mycelium in cankers on living plants. This can be avoided by thorough field preparation prior to planting. Resistant blueberry cultivars include O’Neal (Vaccinium corymbosum “O’Neal”) and Murphy (Vaccinium corymbosum “Murphy”). and blueberry stem blight than are most rabbiteye varieties. Arrows indicate wilted, necrotic (dying) shoots at the base of a blueberry plant, caused by fall cold injury. The disease has very obvious symptoms for which to watch. Shortly after green tip, symptoms become visible. In this study, we examined the causal agent of blueberry stem blight at commercial greenhouse farms in the suburban area of Beijing, China. Botryosphaeria Stem Blight. … The infection can also develop in wounds at the base (crown) of the bush in susceptible cultivars, resulting in rapid plant death without the typical flagging symptom associated with infections on individual stems. HortScience 41:1457-1461. commitment to diversity. These spores are released year-round with the exception of a few weeks in winter; however, the greatest numbers of infections occur in early summer. Phomopsis twig blight lesions ranged from 18 mm to 98 mm (Fig. Avoid wounding bushes unnecessarily. Blueberry stem blight is a disease caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria. After a stem is cut off, examine the cut end of the remaining stem. Kentucky blueberry growers sometimes experience plant and crop losses due to diseases. Initial symptoms of blueberry stem blight typically occur in early summer and are followed soon after by the death of the plant. The pathogen spores float on the wind and in rain and enter the plant through wounds. A necrotic, brown lesion forms on the twig around the blighted bud, and the sunken necrotic area spreads as the disease progresses (figure 1). N.C. ), a parasitic higher plant. Phomopsis twig blight lesions on blueberry. Blueberry stem blight is a fungal disease caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea. Botrytis blight or gray mold – Cool, wet weather causes gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) to grow on blueberry bushes. B) Close up of symptomatic leaves turning brown before shoot completely turns brown. Botryosphaeria stem blight is the most common and damaging fungal vascular disease on SHB in the southern United States, causing stem and cane dieback and reductions in yield. Infected stems will wilt and die, and young twigs will die back from elongated cankers produced by the fungus. Blueberry stem blight is a fungal disease caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea. Resistance of blueberry cultivars to botryosphaeria stem blight and phomopsis twig blight. Infected prunings should be removed well away from the field and burned or shredded. Infections are usually associated with a wound caused by mechanical damage or insect damage, or can be related to late-season cold injury on succulent shoots that occurred during the previous growing season. Blueberry stem blight, caused by the fungus Botryosphaeria dothidea, is the primary disease limiting establishment of blueberry plantings in southeastern North Carolina. The stem blight fungus causes a rapid wilt with browning or reddening of leaves on individual branches, often followed by death of the entire plant as the fungus spreads downward through vascular tissue to the base of the plant. Those that have a history of stem blight problems include Bluechip, Duke and Misty. When stem blight starts showing up in a production field, first check for all of the above discussed stressors, diseases, and pests.
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