fire blight
Plant Pathol.
a disease of pears, apples, quinces, etc., characterized by blossom, twig, and fruit blight and stem cankers, caused by a bacterium, Erwinia amylovora.
[1740-50; from the burnt look of the foliage]

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 plant disease caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, which has destroyed pear and apple orchards in much of North America, parts of Europe, New Zealand, and Japan. Other plants affected include almond, Amelanchier, apricot, aronia, cherry, Cotoneaster, crab apple, hawthorn, Holodiscus, Japanese quince, loquat, medlar, mountain ash, Photinia, plum, Potentilla, Pyracantha, quince, raspberry, rose, spiraea, and other plants in the family Rosaceae. Symptoms include a sudden, brown to black withering and dying of blossoms, fruit spurs, leaves, twigs, and branches. Very susceptible pears, apples, crab apples (crab apple), and quinces (quince) appear as if scorched by fire and may die. Slightly sunken, encircling, dark-brown to purplish-black cankers with a sharp, often cracked margin form on twigs, branches, and trunk, causing a terminal dieback. Fruits are water-soaked, later turning brown or black and shrivelled. In warm, moist spring weather, droplets of bacterial ooze appear on the surface of “holdover” cankers. The oozing bacteria are carried by insects, wind, and rain to infect blossoms, leaves, and twigs. The bacteria spread intercellularly and up to four feet (more than a metre) through vascular tissue in the wood, during late spring and early summer, darkening and killing the tissue. A small percentage of the bacteria overwinter at the margins of branch and trunk cankers ready to repeat the disease cycle starting the following spring about blossoming time.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fire-blight — fireˈ blight noun A bacterial disease of fruit trees, giving a scorched appearance • • • Main Entry: ↑fire …   Useful english dictionary

  • fire blight — fire′ blight n. ppa a disease of fruit trees, esp. of pears and apples, that blackens the foliage and is caused by a bacterium Erwinia amylovora[/ex] …   From formal English to slang

  • fire blight — ☆ fire blight n. a disease of fruit trees, as the pear or apple, caused by a bacterium (Erwinia amylovora): it kills the branches and blackens the leaves …   English World dictionary

  • fire blight — noun a disease blackening the leaves of pear and apple trees • Syn: ↑pear blight • Hypernyms: ↑leaf blight • Hyponyms: ↑blight canker * * * noun 1. : a destructive highly infectious disease of …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fire blight — Taxobox color = lightgrey name = Erwinia amylovora regnum = Bacteria phylum = Proteobacteria classis = Gamma Proteobacteria ordo = Enterobacteriales familia = Enterobacteriaceae genus = Erwinia species = E. amylovora binomial = Erwinia amylovora… …   Wikipedia

  • fire blight — noun Date: 1750 a destructive infectious disease especially of apples, pears, and related fruits caused by a bacterium (Erwinia amylovora) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fire blight — noun a bacterial plant disease that mainly affects apples, pears and some other members of the Rosaceae family …   Wiktionary

  • fire blight — /ˈfaɪə blaɪt/ (say fuyuh bluyt) noun a plant disease which particularly affects pears, apples, quinces, etc., caused by a bacterium, Erwinia amylovora, and causing the blossom, twigs and fruit to wither. Also, fireblight. {from the burnt look of… …   Australian English dictionary

  • blight — blightingly, adv. /bluyt/, n. 1. Plant Pathol. a. the rapid and extensive discoloration, wilting, and death of plant tissues. b. a disease so characterized. 2. any cause of impairment, destruction, ruin, or frustration: Extravagance was the… …   Universalium

  • blight canker — noun a phase of fire blight in which cankers appear • Hypernyms: ↑fire blight, ↑pear blight * * * noun : a phase of fire blight characterized by cankers …   Useful english dictionary

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