Friday, July 10, 2009

Late Blight of Tomato - News from the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab

Senior Diagnostician Gail Ruhl from the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic lab (PPDL) sent out this message concernting Late Blight on Tomato...... The PPDL has had two questions pertaining to Late Blight on Tomato today. This disease has not been confirmed in the Midwest so far this year. We are putting together a picture of the week to provide info on this recent development in the NORTHEAST states but in the meantime here is some information for you.

Tomato plants infected with late blight (causal organism Phytophthora infestans) have been shipped to large retail stores throughout the Northeast region of the country, from Ohio to Maine. The disease has been confirmed on tomatoes in New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Late blight is a very contagious disease that infects members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, sweet peppers, etc.). While the disease is not uncommon in home gardens it is rather unusual for tomatoes to be infected this early in the growing season.

Since there are many look-alike diseases on tomato leaves identification requires microscopic examination, not visual determination. Suspect samples should be submitted to the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab for confirmation. Diagnostic Service Fees for SUSPECT LATE BLIGHT CONFIRMNATION will be covered by our National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) funding.

Two pertinent links:Late Blight on Tomato Plants at Local Large Stores in Most States in the Northeast

Tomato Diseases and Disorders --

Tom Creswell and Gail RuhlPlant and Pest Diagnostic Lab

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