University of California

Factors affecting development of the bacterial canker of stone fruits


Edward E. Wilson

Author Affiliations

Edward E. Wilson was Associate Plant Pathologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 12(4):257-298. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v12n04p257. January 1939.

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Abstract does not appear. First page follows.

Bacterial canker of Prunus, caused by Phytomonas cerasi (Griffin) Bergey et al.,3 has been studied by the writer, with some interruptions, for the past seven years. Certain phases, including the serious limb-canker stage, have been described from time to time (15)-(18).4

This article discusses how various factors affect canker activity after infection is established.

Sequence of Events in Development of Bacterial Canker Under Orchard Conditions

Stages in the Activity of Cankers.—Although a general description of canker development is in print (16), later discussion will be clarified if the sequence of changes during canker activity is described in detail at this point.

An established canker will be taken as an example, and its development from early autumn to summer will be followed. This canker, present in the tree in early autumn, arose from an infection the previous winter or spring. It is a roughly elliptical area of dead bark, its margins grading away either into healthy tissue or, more frequently, into a series of reddish-brown streaks, which form a zone sometimes several inches wide at the apices of the necrotic center. In early autumn the canker appears inactive, the tissue involved being dry with no signs of water-soaking along the margins. The lateral margins of the canker may be delimited by a roll of new tissue, the outer layers of which are essentially callus in nature.

The nature of the reddish-brown streaks present at the apical margins is discussed in a later section. Nothing further will be said about them here except that they are called “dormant streaks” to distinguish them from the less noticeable, dull-brown, water-soaked streaks occurring at the margins of active cankers. The designations dormant and active are used because such streaks are characteristic, respectively, of dormant (or quiescent) and active cankers.

Literature Cited

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[18.] Wilson E. E. Symptomatic and etiologic relations of the canker and the blossom blast of Pyrus and the bacterial canker of Prunus. Hilgardia. 1936. 10:213-40. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v10n08p213 [CrossRef]

[19.] Wormald H. Bacterial diseases of stone-fruit trees in Britain. II. Bacterial shoot wilt of plum trees. Ann. Appl. Biol. 1930. 17:725-44.

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Wilson E. 1939. Factors affecting development of the bacterial canker of stone fruits. Hilgardia 12(4):257-298. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v12n04p257

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