| Home | E-mail | Cactuspedia | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search  |

Soft rot  [ Horticulture - Phytopathology ]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  Softening, discoloration, and often mushy or slimy disintegration of plant tissue as a result of fungal or bacterial infection  
Rotting of tissue (usually the parenchyma) by the activities of a pathogen on the middle lamella of cell walls. The cells become separated but retain their shape for some time. Soft-rot Fungi are capable of decomposing the cellulose and hemicellulose portions of wood; most soft-rot also partially degrade lignin; these species are most common in moist substrate

Underground symptoms include: The soft rot appears as a soft, watery, and slimy decay of the a plant roots, lesions can be as small as a single eye or involve the entire root. The decay rapidly consumes the core of the roots, often leaving the epidermis intact. The rot is extremely soft and colourless. Although rot of the soft-rot bacterium is relatively odour free, secondary organisms usually cause a foul smell.

Aboveground symptoms include: a general yellowing, wilting, and collapse of the foliage. Lesions range from light brown to colourless. Stems still get very mushy and hollow and may be filled with mucilaginous slime. Often this disease is a secondary infection associated with stem infections by late blight.

Contamination: The pathogens enters plants through various kinds of wounds. Soft rot is most often associated with moist, cool conditions and standing water resulting from poor drainage. The pathogens can rapidly spread with rain or irrigation and by insects. The principal source of inoculum is contaminated plant. The bacteria can be spread by handling contaminated plants.

1. Provide good drainage
2. Avoid plant injuries and practices that could wound roots..
3. Minimize the bacterial contamination (Purchase plants free of bacterial soft rot damage).
4. Sanitize and disinfest handling equipment.
5. Avoid injuring plants and allow cut plant to heal before planting.
6. Avoid planting in overly wet substrate.
7. Avoid over-irrigation during warm months of the year.
8. Keep plants dry during the winter rest month.
9. Provide adequate air flow to promote drying, particularly when plants first enter winter rest.
10. Avoid packing and storing wet plants.
11. Use systemic fungicides








| Home | E-mail | Cactuspedia | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search  |