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Managing Bacterial Diseases of Tomatoes and Peppers

Results and Discussion

The effect of seed treatments ranged from a 7.8% decrease to a 2.7% increase in germination in the seed lots we treated (Table 1). Seeds from the Geneva lot and from two growers were treated and tested.

Table 1.

Seed lot Treatment % Germination after 14 days % of control % Difference
Geneva HWT(wet) 93.5 96.9 -3.1
  HWT(dry) 89.0 92.2 -7.8
  acid 0.86% (wet) 95.0 98.4 -1.6
  control 96.5 100 0
Grower M HWT(wet) 96.0 102.7 +2.7
  HWT(dry) 89.5 95.7 -4.3
  acid 0.86% (wet) 94.5 101.1 +1.1
  control 93.5 100 0
Grower R HWT(wet) 93.5 98.9 -1.1
  HWT(dry) 93.5 98.9 -1.1
  acid 0.86% (wet) 92.0 97.4 -2.6
  control 94.5 100 0

The fact that the seed treatments caused only moderate levels of germination reduction is promising, but additional seed lots and varieties will need to be tested to have a better idea of the potential range of germination.

Unfortunately, bacterial canker did not appear in the field plots at the research farm so we do not have results to report about the efficacy of the seed, greenhouse, or field treatments. Research results from other states indicate that seed treatments can be effective in reducing populations of pathogenic bacteria on the seed and limiting epidemics in the field.