Bacterioses are plant diseases caused by phytopathogenic bacteria. These infectious agents penetrate the plant due to cultivation errors, too aggressive pruning or incorrect grafting. The wounds from cuts can cause the entry, into the plant, of various pathogenic organisms responsible for diseases known precisely by the name of bacteriosis. Bacteria can affect any type of plant, even if the bacteriosis the most common concern some ornamental species, such as rose and magnolia, oleander, but also fruit trees such as olive, kiwi and apricot. To be impressed by the bacteriosis they are also tomatoes, citrus fruits and garlic. The consequences of bacteriosis are not only the death of the plant, but a whole series of related diseases, such as tumors, which lead to the drying of the plant structure and then to the death of the affected species.
The causes of plant bacteriosis can be many and they must all be identified and removed in order to develop a preventive strategy that prevents bacteria from penetrating into the plants. During the cultivation and irrigation of cultivated species, attention must be paid to water stagnation that weaken the root system, causing it to rot and creating a useful environment for the reproduction of bacteria. Other causes of bacteriosis can be incorrect pruning with inaccurate cuts and deep lacerations that expose the plant to the action of numerous pathogens. The wounds of the cuts must be adequately protected with putty or other material in order to prevent the entry of bacteria inside them. A common cause of bacteriosis can also be incorrect grafting or, better, performed with previously infected plant parts. It is possible to cause bacteriosis to the plant when using a graft or rootstock with an infection principle. Poor hygiene practices on growing and pruning tools also attract bacteria. Cutting a branch with an uninfected knife or shear can be a major cause of plant bacteriosis.
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Bacteriosis of the rose
Rose bacteriosis is caused by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a pathogen that attacks the roots of the plant, also causing the onset of plant tumors known as bacterial tumors. Agrobacterium affects the rose, but also fruit species and evonimus. Before infecting the plant, this bacterium can live in the soil for over two years. Once it manages to attack the plant roots, the agrobacterium gives rise to a tumor that irremediably alters the tissues of the plant. When the tumor becomes very large, we witness the death of the infected species.
Bacteriosis of magnolia and kiwi
Bacteriosis of magnolia and kiwi is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae, which attacks the leaves of magnolias and the shoots, buds, flowers and fruits of the fruit plant. Magnolia bacteriosis occurs in spring with dark spots on the leaves, surrounded by a yellowish halo. Symptoms of infection become less evident in summer, even if the affected leaves tend to dry out and fall off. In plants of the genus actinidia (kiwi) there is a darkening of the leaves and flowers, the drying of the fruits and their fall, until the final death of the affected plant.
Bacterium tomato, apricot, garlic
Tomatoes can be affected by the same bacterium that affects kiwifruit and magnolia (Pseudomonas syringae), or by other infectious agents. Among the most fearful are Xanthomonas campestris and Orynebacterium michiganense. The first is responsible for the so-called bacterial maculation that affects the leaves and fruits of the tomato. The infection manifests itself in June, with dark spots which, in addition to damaging the production, devitalize the plant. The second infectious agent causes bacterial canker, which attacks the stem of the plant darkening it and making it spongy. This infection prevents the plant from fruiting, leading to desiccation and death. Pseudomonas syringae and Xanthomonas campestris can also affect apricots and garlic. Xanthomonas campestris also causes bacterial cancer in citrus fruits.
Bacteriosis of olive and oleander trees
Pruning errors, wounds caused by man or caused by cold and hail can favor, in the plant, the development of a pathogen responsible for a bacteriosis known as mange. This disease occurs frequently in olive and oleander trees. When the aforementioned plants are infected, protuberances or growths with a consistency similar to wood, spherical in shape and variable size are formed on their branches. These formations, sooner or later, detach from the plant, but cause its deterioration, with serious damage to commercial production.
There are currently no specific phytosanitary safeguards for bacteriosis, the effective solution to combat bacteriosis therefore remains prevention, to be carried out periodically both on the ground and on the plants themselves. Generally, bacteriosis is prevented by carrying out a soil analysis to correct any nutritional imbalances, that is, excesses or defects in certain nutrients essential to the health and good growth of plants. Bacteriosis is prevented by also avoiding water stagnation on the ground and avoiding rain irrigations, that is, those that cause the plant to get water in drops. Pruning and grafting tools must be properly cleaned and disinfected before each operation. It is advisable not to leave pruning shoots near the plant. If the pruning cuts are larger than two or three centimeters, they must be closed with mastic mixed with copper salts.
Established plant bacteria are treated with copper-based products. Copper sulphate mixed with water and lime seems to be very effective. Copper can be bought in shops specializing in phytosanitary products. Copper is distributed by passing a brush along the entire stem of the plant. Totally infected plants must be collected and burned, while the soil must be treated with specific products. To avoid conditions of pollution and toxicity of the plant and the soil, the products against bacteria must be distributed respecting the quantities indicated in the package.