Integrated Plant Genetics Inc.
6911 NW 22nd St., Ste C
Gainesville, FL 32653

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Adding Value to Crops and Foods with Advanced Gene & GRAS Technologies

Tel: +1 (386) 418-3494
Fax: +1 (352) 338-7599

Integrated Plant Genetics

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Geranium Blight and Wilt Diseases

The most serious disease of geranium is bacterial blight, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. pelargonii. The pathogen enters the plant through wounds, stomata or hydathodes, and once inside, multiplies to very high levels in the xylem, yet without causing any symptoms. When the plants experience any kind of stress following xylem infection, they immediately show dramatic symptoms of wilt and blight disease. This disease is widespread in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Israel and may cause losses up to 80-100%--- particularly where cuttings are propagated in a large scale.

A second bacterial disease, geranium wilt, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum,threatens the entire geranium industry with loss of importation permits due to the potential for imported geraniums to spread the pathogen to other U.S. crops. This wilt disease affects a wide range of plants, and potatoes are especially susceptible and therefore at risk. In 1999, R. solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 was discovered on imported geraniums; symptoms on are visually difficult to distinguish from those caused by Xanthomonas. The problem is that the pathogen can easily escape into the environment via contaminated soil, where it survives well, even if the plants are destroyed.

IPG's DiseaseBlock® genes confer complete immunity in geranium to Xanthomonas pelargonii, causal agent of bacterial blight disease

All commercial cultivars of the florists geranium (Pelargonium hortorum) are susceptible to the both blight and wilt diseases.

Use of IPG's Disease Block® genes should avoid costly outbreaks of geranium blight and potentially even more costly regulatory action brought about by the threat of geranium wilt.

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