Bacterial Leaf Scorch of Blueberry

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Relative to total sales, blueberries are the number one fruit commodity in the state of Georgia, surpassing even peaches. Recently, a new disease has been identified in the Georgia blueberry production region. This disease has been named “bacterial leaf scorch,” and it is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa.

Through initial field surveys conducted in the summer of 2007, it was determined that this disease has the potential to become a major threat to blueberry production in Georgia and elsewhere, especially in the southern highbush blueberry varieties. Among these varieties, ‘FL8619’ (alias ‘V1’) has proven to be the most susceptible. However, ‘Star’ and other varieties are also showing substantial disease incidence and severity in several locations. At this early stage, little is known for sure about the epidemiology (means of dissemination and spread) of this disease, and the basic research to determine the means of spread and interaction within the south Georgia environment needs to be completed. In addition, research-based control methods need to be established for this disease. Current recommendations are based on information derived from other plant systems, such as wine grapes, and information needs to be developed specifically for blueberries.


  1. Causal organism
  2. Disease cycle and causal conditions
  3. Symptoms
  4. Chemical controls
Phillip M. Brannen
Gerard Krewer
Bob Boland
Dan Horton
CJ Chang
University of Georgia Extension