The pathogenicity and ecology of some isolates representative of the four main Streptomyces species (S. scabies, S. europaeiscabiei, S. stelliscabiei and S. reticuliscabiei) identified as pathogenic to potato tubers were investigated. Three pathogenicity groups could be distinguished. Group 1 included all isolates of S. scabies, S. europaeiscabiei and S. stelliscabiei from common scab lesions of potato and other susceptible root crops. All these produced similar symptoms and were pathogenic to potato, carrot and radish. Group 2 included all isolates from S. reticuliscabiei netted scab lesions; they were pathogenic to both tubers and roots of only a few potato cultivars, and did not infect carrot or radish. Group 3 included three isolates of S. europaeiscabiei from netted scab lesions on cv. Bintje, which produced either common or netted scab symptoms depending on the potato cultivar or plant species. In an experiment on a few isolates from each of the three groups, held at various soil temperature regimes, the three from group 1 were most pathogenic at higher temperatures (20°C or 20/30°C), the two from group 2 were most pathogenic at a lower temperature (17°C). The group 3 isolate caused netted scab symptoms on susceptible cultivars at low temperatures (≤ 20°C) and deep-pitted lesions at higher temperatures. Since the groups identified differ in ecological requirements, it is important to adapt the control methods to the pathogenic species present in the soil.