Dave Dahl -- Illinois Radio Network

Illinois now has a new worry: symptoms of bacterial leaf stripe has been detected on samples of corn leaves in Champaign County.

“We had to go through a tedious process of identification,” says Suzanne Bissonnette, director of the University of Illinois Plant Clinic, “sequencing the DNA and whatnot, and what we ended up with was this bacterial stripe on corn.”

Bissonnette says the bacteria is most likely not harmful to the crops or to public health. The concerns include: 1) it's never before surfaced in Illinois corn; 2) nobody knows how it got to Illinois corn; 3) it's easily confused with two other problems, Goss's wilt and Stewart's wilt.

Because of that third point, Bissonnette advises having an expert – possibly at her lab – check it out, as opposed to trying to make a diagnosis in the field.

She describes the lesion as a yellow or lime green stripe on the corn leaf.

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