Potato Wart Disease

Wart Disease (Synchytrium endobioticum), aka potato canker is caused by a soil borne fungus and was once a very serious problem for potato crops but better controlled in recent times.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Wart Disease

Wart disease can be recognised by the appearance of a gall (white when underground, black when decaying) at the stem’s base.  The gall has a rough textured and, as the name suggests, warty appearance on the surface.  All symptoms of wart disease are underground and usually not discovered until harvest.

Common Causes and Conditions of Wart Disease

Wart disease is soil borne and the organisms can survive in the soil for over 30 years.  The disease is usually spread via dung from animals fed with infected tubers, and/or by tools and equipment.

Vulnerable / Immune Varieties

Most potato varieties are now immune to wart disease, however none immune varieties include Bintje, Duke of York, Kennebec, King Edward, Morene, Royal Kidney, Sharpes Express and Up-to-Date.

Controlling Wart Disease

Any UK outbreaks of wart disease must be reported to DEFRA.

There are currently no chemicals permitted for the treatment of wart disease in the UK.