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Carrot, Bacterial Leaf Blight

Bacterial leaf blight of carrot caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae. Photo: R. L. Wick

Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae

Bacterial leaf blight of carrot is caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae and is a common disease wherever carrot is grown. It is particularly important in areas of frequent rainfall or extensive sprinkler irrigation.


Symptoms appear primarily on leaf margins as small, yellow, angular leaf spots which expand, turn brown to black with a yellow halo, and become dry and brittle. Leaflets may become distorted and curled. Symptoms can extend into petioles, produce a yellow-brown, gummy exudate, and occur on flower stalks. Infected umbels can be completely blighted and seed infection can occur.

Life Cycle:

X. campestris pv. carotae is a common contaminant of carrot seed and can persist in association with infected plant debris in the soil for up to one year. The bacterium is spread by splashing rain, irrigation water, insects, animals, and machinery.

Cultural Controls & Prevention:

  • Start with certified, disease-free seed or treat seed with hot water (52 ˚C for 25 minutes).
  • Avoid overhead irrigation.
  • Rotate out of carrots for 2-3 years.
  • Plow under infected crop debris after harvest to hasten decomposition.

Chemical Controls & Pesticides:

  • Application of copper bactericides can slow disease development, especially if applications begin when plants are young

For Current information on disease recommendations ins specific crops including information on chemical control & pesticide management, please visit the New England Vegetable Management Guide website.

Crops that are affected by this disease:

Last Updated: 
January 2013

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