Carry-over of inoculum of X.c. pv. campestris in the soil from one cropping season to the next was studied in field experiments over three years. These studies were supported by laboratory and greenhouse experiments on quantitative assessment of bacteria by bioassay using the Most Probable Number technique, and on recovery rates of bacteria from the soil. The mean recovery rate from artificially infested soil was 58%. Extinction of X.c. pv. campestris in soil infested with infected plant debris proceeded exponentially and extinction rates depended on temperature, as did the decomposition of plant debris. In replicated field plots, over three years, infection foci of black rot disease were established. At harvest time, all plants were chopped and resulting plant debris was rotovated into the soil. The resulting soil infestation was sampled and showed clear infestation foci reflecting the original infection foci of the crop. These infestation foci decreased with time and disappeared after the winter. Follow-up crops remained virtually uninfected. The results show that in The Netherlands good crop and soil management impedes survival of inoculum from one year to the next, so that cabbage can be grown continuously. Polyetic carryover of inoculum by debris in the soil can be avoided in The Netherlands.
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