Is This Bacterial Leaf Streak?

July 10, 2017
ICM News

Bacterial leaf streak was confirmed for the first time in Iowa and other states in 2016. There is not a lot known about the disease but researchers at Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University and University of Nebraska are collaborating to understand the disease and its impact on corn with partial funding through the Farm Bill.

This past week we have received several photos of putative bacterial leaf streak symptoms and noticed a few tweets reporting the disease in Iowa and Nebraska.  Bacterial leaf streak is difficult to identify from a photo; it can look like many other diseases and abiotic disorders (Figures 1 and 2). An 8-page PDF on bacterial leaf streak that compares the symptoms of bacterial leaf streak with look-a-like diseases and disorders is available for download from the Crop Protection Network.

The easiest and best way to confirm bacterial leaf streak is to send a sample to the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. During the 2017 growing season, the first 100 samples received will be processed free-of-charge. We are interested in mapping where the disease is present and collecting samples of the pathogen for further research.

Figure 1. This is NOT bacterial leaf streak, the “streaks” are too white.  This is probably wind damage.

Figure 2. Bacterial leaf streak. Look for brown streaks that follow the veins. Look for a bright yellow halo when the diseased leaf is held up to the light.



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Alison Robertson Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology

Dr. Alison Robertson is a professor of plant pathology and microbiology. She provides extension education on the diagnosis and management of corn and soybean diseases. Her research interests include Pythium seedling disease of corn and soybean and Goss's wilt. Dr. Robertson received her bach...

Ed Zaworski Plant Pathology Diagnostician

Edward R. Zaworski is a plant diagnostician in the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. He earned his master's degree in plant pathology in 2010, with a focus on field crop diseases.