Pectobacterium carotovorum

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Pectobacterium carotovorum causing bacterial soft rot on cabbage (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Paul Bachi, University of Kentucky Research and Education Center
Source: IPM Images

Pectobacterium carotovorum (Jones 1901) Waldee 1945

The bacterium causes important soft rot diseases on many plants (bacterial soft rot) and has a worldwide distribution. Crops affected are, among others, potatoes, carrots, as well as vegetables like onions, Brassica crops or tomatoes. P. carotovorum is the type species of the genus Pectobacterium.

Members of this genus produce pectolytic enzymes which distinguish them from the genus Erwinia. These break down the structural substance pectin in the cell walls, leading to cell death and decay of the tissue. The bacterium is Gram-negative, rod-shaped and motile with a size of 1½-2 x 0.5-0.7 µm. Soft rot diseases develop fast, usually within 2-3 days after inoculation. The symptoms are water-soaked lesions and rapid maceration of the plant tissue. Effective bactericides are currently not available and control through resistant varieties is the common approach.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Bakteriennaßfäule des Gemüses
• English: bacterial soft rot
• Español: podredumbre blanda bacteriana
• Français: pourriture molle de l'endive
pourriture bactérienne des racines de l'artichaut


The strains classified previously as Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica which cause potato backleg and tuber soft rot have been assigned to the related species Pectobacterium atrosepticum.
Two subspecies of P. carotovorum also infect potatoes:
Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum
Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliense.


Synonyms:
Erwinia carotovora

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.