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Erwinia carotovora var. carotovora on Bell Peppers in Ohio. D. L. Coplin, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster 44691. Plant Dis. 64:191-194. Accepted for publication 27 September 1979. Copyright 1980 American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-64-191.

Sources of Erwinia carotovora var. carotovora (Ecc) inocula in bell pepper fields were investigated in relation to postharvest soft rot. E. carotovora was found on the roots of field-grown transplants and on the roots and foliage of mature plants. The bacterium overwintered in soil in fields where peppers were rotated with cabbage and potatoes but not with soybeans. In a study on previously untilled soil, greenhouse-grown transplants remained free of Ecc, whereas artificially infested transplants retained the bacterium on their roots throughout the summer. High populations of Ecc on peduncles of fruits collected at a commercial packing house were associated with high incidence of soft rot. Washing peppers before packing greatly increased the amount of decay. This was reduced by chlorinating the wash water.