Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Plant and Crops Science
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2002
Publication Date: February 26, 2004
Citation: Norelli, J.L. 2004. Fire blight. Encyclopedia of Plant and Crops Science. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY Technical Abstract: Fire blight, caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is a destructive disease of apple, pears and woody ornamentals of the rose family. The disease is indigenous to North America and has been studied for more than one century. E. amylovora can infect blossoms, stems, immature fruits, woody branches, tree trunks, and root crowns. The biology of the disease on cankers, blossoms, shoots and rootstocks is described. Effective management of fire blight requires an integrated approach of several practices that are aimed at reducing the amount of inoculum that is available to initiate new infections, imposing barriers to successful establishment of the pathogen on the host, and reducing host susceptibility to infection. The prospect for the development of new control practices is discussed.