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Epidemiology and Control of Bacterial Canker of Papaya Caused by an Erwinia sp. on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. R. R. Webb, Research Plant Pathologist, Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix 00850. Plant Dis. 69:305-309. Accepted for publication 20 September 1984. Copyright 1985 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-69-305.

A species of Erwinia caused angular water-soaked lesions on leaves and firm water-soaked cankers on stems of Carica papaya. Infected trees died soon after stem cankers were observed. The pathogen did not survive longer than 2 wk in soil but may survive indefinitely in leaf lesions or cankers of infected trees and as an epiphyte on leaves of suitable nonhosts. Free moisture (except for dissemination and deposition) does not enhance disease severity or pathogen survival on leaf surfaces. Commercial bactericides, antibiotics, and an antagonistic fluorescent pseudomonad failed to control the disease. Resistance was observed in a number of land cultivars from the Virgin Islands and the eastern Caribbean. Commercial cultivars from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Jamaica were highly susceptible to the canker disease.