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New Neopestalotiopsis Disease Confirmed on Strawberries in Georgia

I posted a recent blog post on Neopestalotiopsis, a new pathogen associated with strawberry production in Florida. Unfortunately, the disease has now been confirmed in Georgia. Samples were sent to Dr. Natalia Peres, and she graciously confirmed that we do have this new pathogen showing up in commercial strawberries. Currently, we think the pathogen is coming in on transplants from nurseries. However, the fear is that once established, it will move to weeds and other plants that surround strawberry fields — establishing itself. The photograph below and the fact sheet from the University of Florida should help you in part to identify the disease. However, this disease does mimic other pathogens, as you can see in the fact sheet. Please work with your local county agent should you have questions concerning this or other diseases of strawberry.

Image of Neopestalotiopsis leaf spot from Georgia strawberries (provided by Mark Frye; Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service).
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About Phil Brannen

Phil Brannen is a Professor in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management, where he also received an M.S. in Plant Pathology, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Auburn University. He has extensive experience with disease management programs in numerous cropping systems. He serves as the extension fruit pathologist for Georgia – conducting research and technology transfer for multiple fruit commodities. His efforts are directed towards developing IPM practices to solve disease issues and technology transfer of disease-management methods to commercial fruit producers. He also teaches the graduate level Field Pathology Course, the History of Plant Diseases and their Impact on Human Societies Course, team-teaches the IPM Course, coordinates the Viticulture and Enology in the Mediterranean Region Course (Cortona, Italy), and guest lectures in numerous other courses throughout the year.