Ralstonia (Ralstonia Solanacearum race 3 biovar 2)

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery November 04, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Ralstonia solanacearum is a bacterial pathogen of many species of plants. Race 3 biovar 2 infects potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, geraniums and a few solanaceous weed species including nightshade, bittersweet, and stinging nettle. It has caused serious economic losses in Europe in potatoes grown for processing. It was introduced to the U.S. on geraniums imported from Kenya and Guatemala in 2003. It was subsequently eradicated.


R. solanacearum can remain viable in the soil for more than a year in the presence of a host. Race 3 biovar 2 is most commonly transmitted by contaminated soil, water, equipment, and personnel, or by transplantation of infected seed pieces. Management requires use of clean seed pieces. For geraniums grown in greenhouses, careful attention to irrigation practices and disinfection of benches and equipment is important.


Additional information about Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 is available at:

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.