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A pith necrosis caused by Xanthomonas perforans on tomato plants

Aiello, Dalia, Scuderi, Giuseppe, Vitale, Alessandro, Firrao, Giuseppe, Polizzi, Giancarlo, Cirvilleri, Gabriella
European journal of plant pathology 2013 v.137 no.1 pp. 29-41
tomatoes, wilting, Pseudomonas mediterranea, Xanthomonas, stems, discoloration, necrosis, ribosomal DNA, vascular tissues, surveys, pith, Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. atrosepticum, leaves, chlorosis, Pantoea agglomerans, bacteria, crops, Italy, Sicily
Pith necrosis is a common disease of tomato in Europe, mainly caused by Pseudomonas corrugata and other soil-borne species of Pseudomonas. During 2011–2012 a survey was conducted in soil-grown tomato crops in southeastern Sicily (Italy). Plants showed pith necrosis, brown discolouration of the vascular tissues, leaf chlorosis and sometimes wilting of leaves. Thirty bacterial isolates from symptomatic tissues, forming colonies on NA and KB, were identified by morphological, biochemical and physiological tests. Among them, seven isolates were analyzed for their 16S rDNA and 16S–23S spacer region sequence that resulted in 99 % identity to that of the Xanthomonas perforans type strain (GenBank accession number GQ46173over 2.085 bp.). Additional sequences of fusA, gapA, gltA, gyrB, lacF, and lepA from one selected isolate were 100% identical to sequences of the Xanthomonas perforans type strain. X. perforans local isolates showed similar genomic patterns with REP-PCR and fAFLP, and were clearly distinguished from other Xanthomonas spp. type strains. In stem-inoculation assays, bacteria isolated from symptomatic tomato plants identified as P. fluorescens, P. putida, P. marginalis, P. citronellolis, P. straminea, and Pantoea agglomerans induced discolouration of vascular tissues, while Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. atrosepticum isolates induced soft rot. Conversely, the isolates here identified as Xanthomonas perforans were able to induce pith necrosis, vascular discolouration, longitudinal splits and external lesions on stems. This report of X. perforans causing pith necrosis on tomato represents a potentially serious problem that may limit the productivity of tomato crops.