Botryosphaeria Stem Blight on Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida
Norma C. Flor, Douglas A. Phillips, and Philip F. Harmon
Vascular pathogens (fungal and bacterial) represent constant challenges for southern highbush blueberry (SHB) growers. Botryosphaeria stem blight is the most common and damaging fungal vascular disease on SHB in the southern United States, causing stem and cane dieback and reductions in yield. Advanced stages of this disease may cause premature plant death, which results in significant replanting costs for growers. Biotic or abiotic stresses from a variety of sources can make plants more susceptible to infection by stem blight pathogens. All SHB and rabbiteye blueberry cultivars are susceptible to stem blight, although cultivars do show differences in their level of susceptibility both under field conditions and in artificial inoculations.