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Fire Blight: History, Biology, and Management
Fire Blight: History, Biology, and Management

"...a powerful assessment of the science and nature of one of the most prevalent and devastating diseases affecting fruit in-depth assessment of the problem. A 'must' for an in-depth botany holding."
—The Midwest Book Review

Item No. 43948
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Three world-renowned experts provide comprehensive scientific coverage of this first known plant disease caused by a bacterium. Fire blight is present in 47 countries and affects many common host plants in the rose family worldwide. Although enormous progress has been made against the disease, it remains a devastating and difficult problem to control in certain locations under optimum weather conditions and agricultural scientists must remain diligent. It is expected that the disease may eventually spread around the globe to all countries growing pome fruit, and the knowledge presented here will be an important first line of defense.

This nearly 500-page book includes a history of the disease, plus detailed information about the biology, epidemiology, and host-pathogen interactions, as well as horticultural, chemical, and biological control management strategies. It includes important coverage of the discovery of pathogenicity and virulence genes, induced resistance, and the variability and diversity of the bacterial pathogen. These research advances offer promise for controlling the disease, where the traditional studies of epidemiology and conventional chemical or biological control have been unsuccessful. An addendum chapter compiling most of the literature covering phytobacteriological and molecular techniques for quick and easy reference is included.

The book will be especially useful to scientists beginning work on this disease and essential wherever scientists and the growers they serve are fighting its devastating effects on the economically important crops of pear and apple.

Fire Blight: History, Biology, and Management


Chapter 1: Early Theories and Discoveries Regarding Fire Blight

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Early Theories (1780–1880)
Discovery of Bacterial Origin and Proof of Pathogenicity (1881–1900)
Dissemination and Disease Control (1901–1925)

Chapter 2: Spread and Current Distribution of Fire Blight

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North America
West Pacific Rim
Western Europe
The Mediterranean Region
Central and Eastern Europe

Chapter 3: Losses Due to Fire Blight and Economic Importance of the Disease

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The Most Traumatic Fire Blight Epiphytotics Ever Recorded
Losses Due to Fire Blight Outside the United States



Chapter 4: Symptomatology of Fire Blight and Host Range of Erwinia amylovora

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Symptoms of Fire Blight
Host Range of the Fire Blight Pathogen


Chapter 5:Taxonomy, Detection, and Identification of Erwinia amylovora

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Taxonomic Description
Differentiation from Other Erwinia Species
Detection and Identification

Chapter 6: Growth and Physiology of Erwinia amylovora

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Morphology and Cultural Characteristics
Growth and Metabolism
Bacterial Exudate and Toxin
Effect of Temperature, pH, and Light on Growth and Survival
Chemotaxis and Motility
Longevity of Erwinia amylovora
Sensitivity to Bacteriophage
Effect of Microorganisms
Resistance to Chemicals and Antibiotics

Chapter 7: Genetic Diversity of Erwinia amylovora

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The Concepts of Strains
Resistance to Chemicals and Antibiotics
Characterization by PCR
Other Molecular Methods


Chapter 8: Physiology and Biochemistry of Fire Blight Infection

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Pathological Anatomy
Migration in Host Tissue
Host Ultrastructure
Biochemistry of Host Tissues
Phenol Metabolism
Hypersensitive Reaction
Osmotic Potential and Sorbitol Concentration of Host Tissue

Chapter 9: Pathogenicity and Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora

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Early Studies of Pathogenicity and Development of a Mutagenesis System for the Study of Pathogenicity
The Hrp Pathogenicity Island of E. amylovora
hrp Genes and Proteins Secreted Through the Hrp Type III Secretion System
Other Virulence Factors


Chapter 10: The Disease Cycle of Fire Blight

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Primary Infection
Secondary Infection

Chapter 11: Effect of Host Conditions, Cultural Practices, and Environment on Disease Development

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Host Conditions
Cultural Practices
Meteorological Factors



Chapter 12: Breeding for Resistance to Fire Blight

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Evaluation of Host Resistance
Conventional Breeding for Resistance
Biotechnological Approaches to Enhancing Fire Blight Resistance

Chapter 13: Utilizing Host Resistance to Fire Blight

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Resistance of Commercial Cultivars
Recent Rootstock Research and Field Trials (1980–2005)
Artificial Inoculation Procedures

Chapter 14: Chemical and Cultural Approaches to Enhance Host Resistance to Fire Blight

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Plant Growth Regulators
Induced Host Resistance
Orchard Management


Chapter 15: Exclusion of Fire Blight by Sanitation, Eradication, and Quarantine

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Sanitation and Eradication
Importance of Quarantine for Areas Without Fire Blight
Risk Associated with Movement of Plant Material
Myths of So-Called Protection Zones
Risk Associated with Importation of Fruit
Recommendations for the Exclusion of Fire Blight from Countries Without the Disease

Chapter 16: Reducing Inoculum Levels in Previously Infected Orchards

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Removal of Holdover Cankers During Winter Pruning
Early-Season Application of Copper
Pruning Out Early-Season Infections
Control of Insect Vectors
Maintaining “Clean” Nursery Stock


Chapter 17: Fire Blight Risk Assessment Systems and Prediction Models

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Technical Theories of Prediction Systems and Models
Practical Application of Prediction Systems

Chapter 18:Chemical Agents That Interfere with Fire Blight Infection

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Control of Blossom Blight
Control of Shoot Blight
Chemical Agents

Chapter 19: Biological Control of Fire Blight

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Biocontrol by Bacterial Antagonists
Evaluation of Antagonists in Vitro, in the Greenhouse, and in the Orchard
Implementation of Biological Control in Integrated Disease Management
Mechanisms of Biological Control by Bacterial Antagonists
Use of Bacterial Antagonism in Fire Blight Management
Biocontrol by Avirulent Strains, Bacteriophages, and Yeasts
Biocontrol by Natural Compounds

Chapter 20: Integrated Management Strategies for Fire Blight Control

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Successful Commercial Management of Fire Blight of Bartlett Pears in the Central Valley of California
Ten Years of Successful Fire Blight Management in Apples in Southwest Germany Successful Management of Fire Blight of Pears in Israel with the Fire Blight Management (Fire-Man) Project

Appendix 1: Phytobacteriological and Molecular Biology Techniques

Phytopathological, Biochemical, and Molecular Characterization
Culture Media
Detection and Identification
Virulence Tests
Pathogenicity Test and Screening for Resistance
Plant Inoculation and Resistance Evaluation
Streptomycin Resistance
Blight Evaluation and Scoring Systems

Appendix 2: Theses and Dissertations on Fire Blight

Appendix 3: Books, Chapters, Reviews, Bulletins, and Feature Articles on Fire Blight (1970–2007)

Appendix 4: American and International Workshops on Fire Blight (1969–2004)


"...a powerful assessment of the science and nature of one of the most prevalent and devastating diseases affecting fruit in-depth assessment of the problem. A 'must' for an in-depth botany holding."
—The Midwest Book Review

"...strongly recommend this book to attention of plant pathologists and to each agricultural and natural science libraries."
—Journal of Plant Protection Research

Publish Date: 2012
Format: 8.5" x 11" hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-89054-394-8
Pages: 460
Images: 122 color images; 53 black and white images
Publication Weight: 4 lbs

By Tom van der Zwet, Noemi Orolaza-Halbrendt, and Wolfgang Zeller

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