The etiology of head rot disease of broccoli Academic Article uri icon


  • Transmission and scanning electron microscope studies of broccoli florets affected by head rot, at various stages of disease development, strongly indicated a bacterial etiology for the disease. Nevertheless, the different species of bacteria isolated from diseased heads, using standard techniques, failed to reproduce symptoms in pathogenicity tests conducted in the glasshouse and in the field. However, a modified isolation technique, using broccoli heads showing incipient watersoaking symptoms, yielded a fluorescent pseudomonad which reproduced disease symptoms readily in glasshouse and field tests. On the basis of physiological and biochemical characters, the pathogenic bacterium was identified as a highly pectolytic pathovar of Pseudomonas marginalis. The bacterium also caused the rotting of potato, tomato and swede turnip slices, and also of intact and detached tomato fruit. However, it was not pathogenic on lettuce, parsnip or lucerne, and also failed to rot carrot slices.


  • Wimalajeewa, DLS
  • Hallam, ND
  • Hayward, AC
  • Price, TV

publication date

  • 1987