Bacterial diseases in plants. Everything you need to know

Bacterial diseases in plants

Plants are also attacked by bacteria as we humans. There are numerous bacterial diseases in plants which are a real headache. Unlike some pests that are easier to control, these diseases spread quickly and easily. They are difficult to control when they are already present in crops and are capable of killing full crops.

In this article we are going to talk about bacterial diseases in plants, how you can identify them and what to do to prevent them.

Characteristics and reproduction of bacteria

Bacterial diseases in plants

Bacterial diseases in plants

The first thing we have to learn or take into account is bacteria. They are the origin of the disease and you have to know what they are, how they attack the plant, how they reproduce, know what environment is more favorable, etc. This is essential when preparing prevention plans. If we know everything the bacteria need to reproduce and find themselves “at home”, it will be easier to snatch it away to prevent its spread.

Bacteria are organisms with a microscopic size. You cannot see a bacterium with the naked eye, much less measure it. They are neither fungi nor viruses, they belong to the Eukaryotic kingdom. These bacteria have only one cell and have a nucleus that hardly has a well-defined structure. They reproduce by division, that is, it is a fairly fast asexual reproduction method. They simply divide your body into two organisms, and so on.

The environment and the conditions of temperature, solar radiation, humidity, wind and precipitation regime, etc. It has a considerable influence on the reproduction of these bacteria. For example, certain temperature values, soil pH, amount of available nutrients, absence or presence of oxygen they can be conditions that make it possible to multiply more quickly or, on the contrary, to stop in a very small population focusing solely on surviving.

The problem with bacterial diseases in plants is that these organisms have the ability to remain dormant when conditions are not favorable and have the “patience” to wait until they can reproduce and come to light. In the latent state they are not active and only have the function of reserving as much energy as possible. It is as if it were a state of hibernation.

How Bacterial Diseases Affect Plants

Bacterial disease wilt on plant

Wilt due to bacterial disease in plant

When our crops, whether in agriculture or simply in our garden, are attacked by bacteria, we can notice it in some of the most well-known symptoms. Normally, there are some symptoms that resemble those caused by certain insect pests, but you can easily recognize their absence and know that these symptoms are being caused by bacteria.

The first symptom most often seen is wilting. We are not talking about a tree or shrub having some wilted leaves that way. We talk about the wilting of the leaves in general. If your plants have a large number of wilted leaves, it is possible that it is being attacked by bacteria.

Leaf spots. It is another very common symptom of these diseases. We can observe both the leaves and the flowers some spots of color, generally brown, that lead to the leaf rotting. There is also the symptom of soft rot in both leaves and fruits and inflorescences. In this case, you can notice how these parts of the plant are rotting as if it were a fruit. It remains a very soft texture until it ends up completely disappearing.

Another symptom is that we can notice that rare forms grow on our plant as if they were tumors. This is a kind of deformity that can be easily identified. Scabs and cankers they are also symptoms that our plant is affected by bacteria.

How they spread

How the disease affects the plant

How the disease affects the plant

If we want to stop the spread of diseases, we must know the method that bacteria have of propagation or dissemination. Usually, bacteria spread from soil or sand particles to other plants. This occurs when there is more or less abundant rainfall and the splashes themselves that are formed by rainwater (or irrigation). This means that the bacteria that were in the soil can remain and find good environments where they can survive well in the different parts of the plant.

Another way they have to spread is through contact with tools, clothing, seeds of other plants or some seedlings that may have pathogens and that spread little by little. Therefore, it is important to know well the weaknesses and the most favorable conditions for the bacteria to develop and not to give them such conditions.

To recognize the symptoms of bacterial diseases in plants, we must look at some more specific things than those mentioned above. We have previously pointed out what the main symptoms were. However, there are other indicators that are almost more valid to know that bacteria are attacking our plant.

For example, we can observe the appearance of soft lesions that look like drops of water. These kinds of “drops” change color as they develop. Black dots are formed. These milder lesions usually form different types of exudates and scents that are quite unpleasant. The specialists know how to recognize this using the technique of the bacterial current. It involves cutting a stem or leaf, partially submerging it in water and observing, with the help of a microscope, a kind of liquid stream with bubbles coming out of the cut piece.

Recommendations for treating bacterial diseases in plants

Black spots on leaves

Black spots on leaves

If we want to know the management of these diseases to avoid disaster in our crops, we have to learn to prevent.

  • Crop rotation it is a good technique to prevent the spread of bacteria and diseases. It is interesting to rotate the crops between different families. For example, if we have planted lettuce, then we can sow cucumber, chili, broccoli, etc.)
  • Genetic resistance. There are a large number of varieties of vegetables that are resistant to numerous bacterial diseases.
  • Use healthy seedlings. Observe that it does not have any type of symptoms when planting it
  • Act quickly. constantly disinfect tools, harvest containers, germination trays, etc.

I hope that with these tips you can avoid and treat bacterial diseases in plants.

Bacterial diseases in plants. Everything you need to know

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