Bacterial Soft Rot of Pepper

  • Symptoms

  • Trigger

  • Biological Control

  • Chemical Control

  • Preventive Measures

Bacterial Soft Rot of Pepper

Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum


In a Nutshell

  • Dark vein tissue of the leaves.
  • Leaves become chlorotic and later necrotic.
  • Water-soaked lesions on fruits and stems.
  • Discoloration of the fruit peduncle is possible.
  • There might be a foul odor.


Capsicum & Chili


Initial symptoms often become visible as dark vein tissue and necrotic areas on leaves. Sunken, water-soaked lesions appear and expand rapidly on stems, fruits, and fruit peduncles. As the disease progresses, dry, dark brown or black stem cankers might develop, often resulting in the breakage of branches. Finally, the entire fruit has become a watery, soft, slimy mass. It hangs from the plant like a water-filled bag. In general, bacterial ooze can be seen in diseased tissues and a foul odor can be present. The affected plants wilt and die later.


The soil-borne bacteria that cause soft rot are ubiquitous in the environment. They are associated with surface water and the soil. Warm and moist weather is highly favorable for infection. The bacteria enter the plant through wounds produced during the handling of the cultures, insect stings and sunscald. Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum have a lot of host plants, for example potato, sweet potato, cassava, onion, cabbage, carrot, tomato, bean, corn, cotton, coffee and banana.

Biological Control

Sorry, we don't know of any alternative treatment against Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum. Please get in touch with us in case you know of something that might help to fight this disease. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. A chemical treatment of the seeds and harvested fruits with a sodium hypochlorite solution can be useful to prevent further contamination. For example, seeds could be bathed in a 1% sodium hypochlorite solution (bleach) for 30 seconds and rinsed afterwards with clean water.

Preventive Measures

Implement crop rotation with maize, bean or soybean.,Avoid planting pepper after potato or cabbage.,Plow deep to reduce inoculum in soil.,Ensure careful handling during cultivation, weeding and harvesting.,Avoid working during wet conditions.,Provide good drainage.,Avoid excess of nitrogen fertilization and irrigation.,Ensure good field hygiene (water, clothes, tools).,Use disinfection products (hands, tools).,Remove affected plants and harvest residues and destroy them by burning.