Emerging Pest Alerts

Dickeya solani

Scientific Name:
Dickeya solani 
Common Name:
Blackleg of potato
New strain of blackleg of potato, Dickeya solani, causing significant losses in Europe

Significance: Dickeya solani is a new bacterial disease spreading on seed potatoes and threatening potato production in Europe. The disease seems to be more aggressive and causes damage in a wider range of conditions than ‘traditional’ blackleg (Pectobacterium atrosepticum), and at lower bacterial densities. In less than five years, D. solani has become the predominate cause of blackleg in some European countries. Symptoms of D. solani, which are nearly indistinguishable from those of P. atrosepticum, include rapid wilting with black soft rot extending from the infected seed tuber through the vascular system (Elphinstone, 2009). Spread of this disease occurs through movement of contaminated materials, mechanical means, or water (ProMED-Mail, 2009).

Hosts: In addition to potatoes, D. solani has also been isolated from field-grown flower bulbs such as hyacinth (Elphinstone, 2009).


Elphinstone, J. 2009. Erwinia chrysanthemi (Dickeya spp.) update. Plant Clinic News. The Food and Environment Research Agency: 2.

ProMED-Mail. 2009. Dickeya solani Blackleg, Potato: New Pathogen. International Society for Infectious Diseases. Last accessed December 7, 2009, http://www.promedmail.org.