Understanding Stolbur Disease: A Quick Guide

Stolbur disease is a plant infection caused by a bacteria-like organism called phytoplasma. This quick guide provides essential information about the disease, its symptoms, transmission, and prevention methods. Discover how to identify and manage Stolbur disease to protect your plants from this destructive pathogen.

Stolbur disease, also known as bois noir, is a plant infection caused by the Candidatus Phytoplasma solani bacterium. This phytoplasma is transmitted by insect vectors, such as leafhoppers and planthoppers, and affects a wide range of crops, including grapes, tomatoes, and potatoes. Understanding what is Stolbur disease is crucial for farmers and gardeners to prevent its spread and minimize crop losses.

A quick guide to Stolbur disease provides essential information on its symptoms, transmission, and management. Infected plants often exhibit stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and premature fruit ripening. The disease spreads rapidly through an infected plant’s vascular system, leading to reduced yields and poor quality produce.

To prevent Stolbur disease, it is important to implement integrated pest management strategies. This includes removing infected plants, controlling insect vectors, and using disease-resistant varieties. Regular monitoring and early detection are key in managing this destructive disease.

In conclusion, understanding what is Stolbur disease and implementing effective prevention measures are crucial for maintaining healthy crops and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices.

Stolbur disease is a plant disease caused by a phytoplasma that affects various crops.
It is characterized by stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, and reduced yield.
Stolbur disease can be transmitted by insect vectors such as leafhoppers and planthoppers.
Infected plants may show symptoms like witches’ broom, virescence, and phyllody.
Early detection and proper management are crucial to prevent the spread of Stolbur disease.
  • Stolbur disease primarily affects tomato, pepper, eggplant, and potato crops.
  • The phytoplasma responsible for Stolbur disease belongs to the class Mollicutes.
  • Control measures include the use of resistant varieties and insecticide treatments.
  • Stolbur disease can cause significant economic losses in agricultural production.
  • Phytoplasma DNA testing is often used to confirm the presence of Stolbur disease.

What Is Stolbur Disease and How Does It Affect Plants?

Stolbur disease is a plant disease caused by a phytoplasma, which is a type of bacteria-like organism. It primarily affects solanaceous plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. The disease is transmitted by insect vectors, such as leafhoppers, which feed on infected plants and then spread the phytoplasma to healthy plants.

Definition Symptoms Effects on Plants
Stolbur disease is a bacterial infection caused by phytoplasmas. – Stunted growth- Yellowing of leaves- Wilting- Necrosis- Reduced yield – Weakened plants- Reduced photosynthesis- Decreased nutrient uptake- Lower fruit quality
The bacteria are transmitted to plants by insect vectors, such as leafhoppers and planthoppers. – Leaf curling- Distorted growth- Discoloration of stems and fruits – Plant death in severe cases- Decreased plant vigor- Economic losses for farmers
Stolbur disease mainly affects tomato, pepper, potato, and grapevine crops. – Phloem tissue damage- Disruption of plant’s vascular system – Reduced crop yield- Delayed maturation- Increased susceptibility to other diseases

Once a plant is infected with stolbur disease, it can experience various symptoms. These symptoms may include stunted growth, yellowing or reddening of leaves, wilting, and overall decline in plant health. Infected plants may also produce fewer fruits or have distorted fruit development.

How Can Stolbur Disease Be Diagnosed?

Diagnosing stolbur disease can be challenging as the symptoms can be similar to other plant diseases or environmental stress factors. However, there are several methods that can help in the diagnosis process.

– Visual symptoms: Stolbur disease can be diagnosed by observing the visual symptoms on the infected plants. These symptoms may include stunted growth, yellowing or reddening of leaves, wilting, and the formation of small, distorted fruits or flowers.
– PCR testing: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing can be used to diagnose Stolbur disease. This molecular technique detects the presence of the phytoplasma responsible for the disease in plant tissues. PCR testing is highly specific and can provide accurate and reliable results.
– Serological testing: Serological testing involves the detection of specific antibodies produced by the infected plant in response to the Stolbur disease phytoplasma. This can be done using techniques such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or immunoblotting. Serological testing is a rapid and effective method for diagnosing Stolbur disease.

One common method is to visually inspect the plants for characteristic symptoms. Additionally, laboratory tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be conducted to detect the presence of the phytoplasma in plant tissues. These tests can provide more accurate and reliable results.

What Are the Control Measures for Stolbur Disease?

Controlling stolbur disease involves a combination of preventive measures and management strategies. Here are some effective control measures:

  1. Use certified disease-free seedlings
  2. Practice crop rotation
  3. Implement strict weed control measures
  4. Use insecticides to control insect vectors
  5. Remove and destroy infected plants promptly

– Planting disease-resistant varieties: Using resistant cultivars can help reduce the risk of stolbur disease.

Can Stolbur Disease Be Treated?

There is currently no cure for stolbur disease. Once a plant is infected, it cannot be completely cured. However, certain management practices can help reduce the impact of the disease and prevent its spread.

Stolbur Disease Treatment Effectiveness
Stolbur disease is a bacterial infection that affects various plants, including tomatoes and potatoes. There is currently no specific treatment for Stolbur disease. Due to the lack of a specific treatment, managing the disease mainly involves preventive measures and control strategies.
The disease can lead to stunted growth, yellowing, and wilting of plants, ultimately causing significant yield losses. Preventive measures include using disease-free planting material, practicing crop rotation, and controlling insect vectors. Early detection and implementation of preventive measures can help minimize the impact of Stolbur disease, but complete eradication is challenging.
Research is ongoing to develop resistant plant varieties and explore potential treatments for Stolbur disease. Proper sanitation practices and integrated pest management strategies are crucial in managing the disease. Efforts are being made to find effective treatments, but currently, prevention and control are the main approaches.

Implementing control measures, as mentioned earlier, can help manage the disease and minimize its effects on plant health and yield. It is important to take preventive measures and monitor plants regularly to catch any signs of infection early on.

What Are the Symptoms of Stolbur Disease?

The symptoms of stolbur disease can vary depending on the plant species and stage of infection. Some common symptoms include:

The symptoms of Stolbur disease include stunting, yellowing, leaf rolling, and phloem discoloration in infected plants.

– Stunted growth and reduced vigor

How Does Stolbur Disease Spread?

Stolbur disease spreads through insect vectors, particularly leafhoppers. These insects feed on infected plants, acquiring the phytoplasma, and then transmit it to healthy plants when they feed on them. The phytoplasma can also be spread through grafting infected plant material onto healthy plants.

Stolbur disease spreads through insect vectors, such as leafhoppers, and infected plant materials, such as seeds or grafts.

It is important to note that stolbur disease cannot spread through soil, water, or contact between plants. The primary mode of transmission is through the feeding activity of insect vectors.

What Are the Common Host Plants for Stolbur Disease?

Stolbur disease primarily affects solanaceous plants, including:


Tomato plants are one of the most common host plants for stolbur disease. This disease can cause severe damage to tomato crops, leading to reduced yields and poor fruit quality. Stolbur disease is caused by a phytoplasma bacterium called Candidatus Phytoplasma solani, which is transmitted by leafhoppers. It is important for tomato growers to implement proper pest management strategies to prevent and control stolbur disease.


Another common host plant for stolbur disease is potato. Stolbur can significantly impact potato production, causing symptoms such as yellowing, stunting, and reduced tuber quality. Infected potato plants may also exhibit leaf curling and wilting. The disease can be spread through infected seed tubers or by insect vectors. Crop rotation, use of disease-free seed tubers, and insect control measures are important for managing stolbur in potato crops.


Grapevines can also be affected by stolbur disease. Symptoms of stolbur infection in grapevines include yellowing and curling of leaves, reduced growth, and smaller berries. The disease can impact both wine and table grape varieties, leading to significant economic losses for vineyard owners. Stolbur is primarily transmitted by leafhoppers, and controlling the vector population is crucial for preventing the spread of the disease in grapevines.

– Tomatoes

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