A New Disease Is Emerging: Neopestalotiopsis Fruit Rot

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New Disease Emerging in Strawberries

Dear friends,

A new disease (Neopestalotiopsis ssp.) is emerging in strawberries at the East Coast, mainly in Florida in bare-root planting material.

Foliar symptoms appear to be very similar to leaf spot diseases, and it can cause die-off and fruit rot, that resemble Anthracnose fruit rot symptoms. It is important to note that leaf spot diseases are very common in strawberries, and symptoms do not necessarily have to be linked to Neopestalotiopsis. 

UF Symptoms and Management

Fruit rot symptoms were commonly observed in FL, and foliar symptoms could also be observed on plug plants in other areas across the East Coast. The disease can spread relatively fast in a field if kept unchecked.

Measures of precaution: Management of plug plants:

Thiram and Switch products have shown to be effective against fruit rot. We assume that early treatment of plug plants with those products will reduce the appearance of disease symptoms. Please work with your local agent, the PDIC and the strawberry team if you have concerns about your planting material.

If you receive plug plants, it is important to follow a few steps this year:

  • First: Talk to the plug producer/nursery directly and ask about problems and plant source
  • Check your plants when you get them to identify problems
  • Do NOT plant any plants that show disease symptoms (True for ALL diseases)
  • Sanitate your planting material (True for ALL diseases)
  • Make sure your planting material is planted properly!
  • Apply Switch or Thiram only if plants have symptoms.

Best way to handle plug plants (Publication from Penn State)