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Bacterial Foot Rot of Rice Caused by a Strain of Erwinia chrysanthemi. M. Goto, Professor of plant pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka, 422 Japan; Phytopathology 69:213-216. Accepted for publication 6 September 1978. Copyright 1979 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-69-213.

A bacterial disease of rice, “bacterial foot rot,” was found in Japan in July 1977. It was characterized by a dark brown decay of the tillers. In the early stages of the disease, brown sheath rot appeared that seemed to spread from the ligule regions. The lesions quickly extended down to nodes, culms, and finally to crowns. Neighboring tillers of the same crown were invaded systemically, causing foot rot symptoms. A soft rot, with an unpleasant odor, developed in young tissues of infected tillers. In the advanced stage, many tillers decayed so that entire diseased plants could be removed easily with a slight pull. The syndrome was similar to the damage caused by the rice stem borer or the “kresek” symptom of bacterial leaf blight. The phenotypic characters of the rice strains were very similar to those of the corn pathovar of Erwinia chrysanthemi. The rice strain produced top soft rot or stalk rot on corn seedlings within 1 wk. The corn strain was less virulent on rice, however, suggesting that the rice strain may be a distinct pathovar of the bacterium.