Dry Bean Bacterial Wilt Pathogen Can Be Different Colors

By Robert Harveson, University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Plant Pathologist

Bacterial wilt of dry beans, caused by Curtobacterium flaccufaciens pv. flaccumfaciens (Cff), has historically posed sporadic but often serious production problems in dry beans throughout the irrigated High Plains since its first report from South Dakota in 1922. In the early 1980s, the disease mysteriously disappeared, appearing only periodically on cull seeds at the processing plants, but with little economic damage.

However, the disease appeared again in two great northern dry bean fields in late August 2003 in the Gering Valley, shortly before harvest. I took dozens of pictures, assuming that I would never see it again. However, between 2004 and 2007 the pathogen was additionally identified from hundreds of fields from the central high plains causing severe, measurable yield reductions. Read more.