​​Dickeya: A Scottish, UK, and European Perspective

May 2016 | 39 min., 38 sec.
by Gerry Saddler
Science & Advice Scottish Agriculture (SASA)


Blackleg, a disease that has had little impact on potato production in North America over the years, is showing worrying signs in recent times that it’s on the move. Blackleg has plagued potato production in Europe for decades and can be caused by a number of different species of Dickeya and Pectobacterium. Potato producers up and down the East Coast are rightly concerned, and this presentation should give practitioners and growers an overview of the European experience of the disease, update them on ongoing research, and explain what the European authorities and industry are doing to combat the problem. By the end of this presentation, practitioners should have a better understanding of the disease, the pathogens involved, and current advice on management practices.​

About the Presenter

Gerry SaddlerGerry Saddler has 25 years of experience as a plant pathologist and is Deputy Head of Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), a division of the Scottish government. He has worked on the characterization and management of bacterial diseases of potato throughout his career (specifically, brown rot, ring rot, and blackleg) and has more than 70 scientific publications to his name. He heads up the Scottish seed potato classification scheme, where blackleg continues to be a major concern, as it is the biggest single cause of seed downgrading in the country. Gerry and his colleagues are investigating how crops become initially infected and how environmental factors and industry practices may impact disease severity. Although blackleg in Europe can be caused by a number of Dickeya and Pectobacterium species, Gerry and colleagues, with strong support from the industry, have successfully managed to keep Dickeya out of their production system.​

Contact Information:
Email: Gerry.Saddler@sasa.gsi.gov.uk


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