Review: Ready-to-eat salad crops: A plant pathogen’s heaven (Plant Disease)

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving next weekend, here’s an article full of fun facts to share over the salad. Gullino et al. describe the history of salad (mentioned by Virgil and Pliny) and the rapid growth in the prepared salad industry. They describe the challenge of growing and getting these fragile leaves to market. But they focus on the many pathogens that plague growers; after all, consumers want perfect leaves with no pesticide residues. In addition to many plant pathogens (including Fusarium, Pythium, Sclerotinia, Alternaria and others), human pathogens that infect lettuces are mentioned (you’re sure to be a hit at the dinner table!). Even if you choose not to share your insights with your companions, this is a very interesting and readable article that will make you appreciate the challenges inherent in producing bagged salad, and give thanks to the growers who overcome them. (Summary by Mary Williams)  Plant Disease 10.1094/PDIS-03-19-0472-FE