SASA has a dedicated team of bacteriologists providing a range of services and conducting research and development projects on a wide range of bacterial plant pathogens.
Most of the Bacteriology Unit's work is focused on bacterial pathogens of potato, though pathogens of strawberry are also covered.
The provision of services are either in support of the Scottish Seed Potato Classification Scheme or as part of Scotland's statutory obligation to ensure it remains free of range of quarantine organisms, specifically Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus and Ralstonia solanacearum.
- Provisions of annual surveys of Scottish potatoes for Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, Ralstonia solanacearum, and Dickeya spp..
- Provision of annual surveys of Scottish rivers for Ralstonia solanacearum and Dickeya spp..
- Scientific and technical advice to the Scottish Government on the control of bacterial plant pathogens.
- Testing of nuclear stock material for a wide range of bacterial pathogens.
- Diagnosis of diseased samples submitted by Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities Directorate inspectors for the presence of bacterial diseases.
- Advice and diagnostic support on bacterial pathogens to the potato industry and stakeholder bodies.
In addition, a range of research and development projects are currently underway into bacterial pathogens of potato or have recently been concluded.
R&D work includes:
- Epidemiology and control of Dickeya on Scottish seed potatoes
- Ralstonia solanacearum contamination of Scottish rivers: Identifying the risks to high-grade seed production
- Identification and reduction of risks posed by potato ring rot disease to the Scottish potato industry.
Additional information on the main bacterial pathogens we work on (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus - potato ring rot; Ralstonia solanacearum - potato brown rot; Pectobacterium - Blackleg/soft rot; Dickeya - Top wilt/blackleg/soft rot) can be found using the links below.