University of Florida

Bacterial Wilt


Pseudomonas solanacearum


Roots and lower stem at soil line.


Stunting prior to a rapid plant wilt and death usually without foliar chlorosis; pith and vascular discoloration present at soil line, pith hollowness may also exist in advanced stages. Bacterial streaming from freshly cut stems is an important diagnostic feature.

Pathogen Spread

Prevalent soilborne bacterium with numerous weed and crop hosts in Florida, easily spread by ditch or run-off water, normally infecting roots through wounds caused by cultivation or nematodes.

Favorable Conditions

Warm (86-90 F.), wet weather of late spring or early fall. Not common in area 1 (Appendix 9). Quite severe at times in area 5.

Bacterial Wilt Pictures

Bacterial wilt
Image # 111.
Bacterial wilt
rapid wilt to death syndrome with no foliar chlorosis.

Bacterial wilt
Image # 112.
Bacterial wilt-
dark pith and vascular discoloration especially at the soil line.