Suppression of bacterial soft rot in potato tubers by application of kasugamycin

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An immersion in aqueous solutions of Kasumin®, containing kasugamycin at 10 to 320 mg/L (ppm) for 1 to 320 sec delayed or prevented the development of soft rot on inoculated (Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora) tuber disks incubated over wet filter paper at 24C for 24 to 72 hr. Treatment efficacy decreased as inoculum level and incubation period increased. Short immersion periods were not as effective as longer ones. When stored tubers were inoculated with E. c. carotovora and incubated up to 5 days in fog chamber at 20 C, immersion treatments in 20 to 400 ppm kasugamycin either had no effect or increased soft rot development. By contrast, when the stored tubers were cut into sections before inoculation and treatment, immersion in 300 ppm reduced soft rot development on the cut surfaces from 83% (inoculated controls) to 3.2%. With non-inoculated sections, treatment with 25 ppm reduced the SAD from 13.3 to 0.6%. Wash or rinse treatment of freshly harvested tubers in 40 to 160 ppm produced a significant reduction in the severity of bacterial soft rot among tubers incubated for 72 to 96-hr. The 160-ppm treatment delayed disease onset by at least 24 hr. Pre-washing freshly harvested tubers with clean or chlorinated water prior to antibiotic treatment did not consistently improve the efficacy of the kasugamycin treatment.

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