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Bacterial Leaf Streak of Corn: New Disease Confirmed in the U.S.

September 6, 2016

Bacterial leaf streak of corn is caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum. The disease was first reported in the Republic of South Africa in 1949. The disease was confirmed on Aug. 26, 2016, in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas. It appears as though this disease is widely distributed throughout the Corn Belt. However, no research data is available to predict potential impact of this disease on yield.

Bacterial leaf streak symptoms look similar to other diseases, particularly the fungal disease gray leaf spot. Gray leaf spot produces lesions with straight margins along the veins of the leaf, unlike bacterial leaf streak, which produces wavy margins. Symptoms of the disease have been seen as early as mid-June in Nebraska. Diagnosis can be difficult, so a sample should be submitted to diagnostic services or a crop pathology lab.

As the disease is caused by a bacterial pathogen, fungicides will not control this disease. Although bactericides are labelled for use on corn, their practicality and potential efficacy is limited. Crop rotation and debris management may be helpful. Additional research is needed and is ongoing in several states.

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Source: Michigan State University