University of Florida

Tomato Pith Necrosis


Pseudomonas corrugata


Stems and occasionally fruit


May start as chlorosis of young leaves, followed by wilting. Lower parts of infected stems may show brown lesions on the outside. The best diagnostic characteristic is the hollow or "laddered" pith revealed when a longitudinal cut is made in the lower stem. Profuse development of adventitious roots takes place in the area of moderate to severe pith degradation.

Pathogen Spread

The bacterium is probably soilborne. Patterns in the field are more or less random.

Favorable Conditions

The disease is favored by cool night temperatures and high humidity.


Generally most severe in late fall, winter, and early spring crops in southern Florida.

Tomato Pith Necrosis Picture

Tomato Pith Necrosis
Image # 115.
Tomato pith necrosis
note extreme degradation of pith.