Agrobacterium in Roses

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a soil-dwelling bacteria characterized by its rod-shaped morphology and motility. Equipped with flagella, it possesses the ability to navigate through moisture films present in soils and plants. This bacterium is responsible for the formation of unsightly cankers known as Crown Galls, which not only diminishes plant productivity but also leads to the eventual demise of the affected plant. The bacteria accomplishes this by transferring a portion of its DNA to the plant, which subsequently integrates into the plant’s genome. This genetic transformation of the target cell induces tumor formation and associated alterations in the plant’s metabolism.

Agrobacterium infection typically begins with the formation of small swellings on wounded parts of plants. These initial tumors appear as soft, creamy white, and rounded structures. As they mature, the tumors become irregular in shape and can change color, turning brown or black. Multiple tumors may emerge on the same plant, leading to partial or complete rotting of the affected areas. In some cases, the tumors may reoccur in the same area season after season. Additional symptoms of Agrobacterium infection include stunted growth, chlorotic (yellowing) leaves, and increased susceptibility to environmental conditions and secondary infections.

Agrobacterium infection has become prevalent in many farms across Kenya. To mitigate its spread, growers are advised to minimize plant wounding whenever possible. It is crucial to source clean plant materials from reputable breeders and propagators to ensure the absence of Agrobacterium. Thoroughly inspecting bud-wood before selecting a variety, using clean media, sterilizing farm equipment, and avoiding movement from infected to clean greenhouses are essential practices. Additionally, strict adherence to hygiene protocols during cultural activities like pruning and bending is important. Regular disinfection should be carried out as well. These cultural practices serve as effective measures for preventing and managing Agrobacterium. Proper climate control within greenhouses is also of great importance, as excessively hot and dry conditions can cause plant stress, leading to an increased occurrence of galls.

Our recommendation to Growers is to utilize CANTONA 230EC as a means of controlling and managing Agrobacteria. CANTONA 230EC is an innovative fungicide that incorporates Copper Abietate, a fungicidal molecule with protective properties, ideal for preventing and handling plant infections. It is suggested to apply CANTONA 230EC through a foliar spray at a rate of 1ml per liter. With its potent sterilizing mechanism and resistance-preventing attributes, Copper Abietate provides a highly effective preventive and treatment solution for diseases that have become resistant to other fungicides and bactericides.

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