It is with great concern that Phytoplasma has been detected in South Africa. The disease was first identified in June, 2012 in the Brits area of Gauteng. It has since spread to parts of Limpopo; the Freestate and just recently in northern KZN.
Phytoplasma is a type of bacteria that doesn’t have a cell wall and is spread by sap sucking insects. Symptoms include includes poor root development, collapse of leaves, yellowing and purpling of leaves and severe vascular discoloration. Above is a picture of vascular discolouration in a cabbage stem which is the tell tale symptom of this disease.
The best control method is to breed resistant varieties, but as growers the key to preventing your crop from being infected by Phytoplasma is to control insect vectors, especially leaf hoppers and aphids and to practice good field hygiene. As and when more information becomes available on this disease, we will keep our customers updated. Feel free to contact our management team to discuss.