During the late spring of 2013 strawberry plants grown under protection (Fragaria x ananassa cv. Elsanta) were found at several locations in the Netherlands showing an intense brown to black discoloration of their immature fruits, their fruit calyx and the attached stems.
Identification of a new bacterial disease on strawberry.
Identification and characterization was based on the requirements of EPPO (European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization), followed by a pathogenicity test on strawberry plants for verification of the virulence.
The isolates exhibited biochemical profiles closely related to Erwinia pyrifoliae reference strain LMG 25888. The isolates were further identified as E. pyrifoliae based on the real time PCR assay. Pathogenicity of several isolates was tested and confirmed on potted strawberry plants (cvs. Elsanta and Selva).
Erwinia pyrifoliae is a pathogen on strawberry. Thus far occurrence of this pathogen on strawberry has not been reported nor its presence outside Asia.