In 2009 and 2010, outbreaks of bacterial spot characterized by significant fruit spotting occurred in at least 2,000 ha of commercial processing tomatoes in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Losses were estimated at $7.8 million. Diseased fruit and foliage were collected from 32 Ohio and Michigan fields in 2010. Excised lesions from fruit and leaves were dipped briefly in 70% ethanol, air dried, and chopped into pieces in 10 mM potassium phosphate buffer (KPB), pH 7.4. Ten-fold serial dilutions in KPB were plated on yeast dextrose carbonate agar medium and 83 yellow mucoid colonies were purified. All isolates were gram negative and induced a hypersensitive response in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants 24 h after inoculation with a 108 CFU/ml bacterial suspension in water. All 83 isolates were identified as Xanthomonas spp. using genus-specific primers RST65/69 (2). Of these, 11 were identified as X. euvesicatoria and 8 as X. perforans using the species-specific primers RST27/28 (1) and JJ19/22 (5′-AACCCAACTAATTTCCCTC-3′ and 5′-AACGAGATTTGTTACGAACC-3′; J. B. Jones, personal communication), respectively. DNA fingerprint profiles of 62 of the 64 remaining strains generated using BOX-PCR assays (4) were identical to the profile of X. gardneri type strain XCGA2. The DNA profiles of 2 of the 64 Xanthomonas strains did not resemble those of any reference strains. The 16S rDNA and ITS1 genes from two representative strains (SM174-10 and SM230-10) were PCR amplified, direct sequenced, and aligned using nBLAST with the same gene region from XCGA2 (GenBank Accession No. AF123093). Strains SM174-10 and SM230-10 differed from XCGA2 by 2 bp (99% nucleotide similarity). Pathogenicity tests were performed twice on 6-week-old tomato seedlings (cv. Peto 696). Three tomato seedlings were sprayed until runoff with strain SM174-10 (~108 CFU/ml), three seedlings were sprayed similarly with water (control treatment), and all six plants were grown under high relative humidity (24 s of mist per 12 min) at day/night temperatures of 29/23°C for 15 days. Seedlings inoculated with SM174-10 exhibited water-soaked lesions and chlorosis on the foliage, similar to field symptoms, within 14 days. Seedlings sprayed with water did not develop symptoms. Isolates cultured as described above from all three pathogen-inoculated seedlings were similar in morphology to strain SM174-10; no cultures were recovered from water-inoculated plants. The BOX-PCR fingerprint profile of a representative reisolated colony was identical to that of SM174-10. Although bacterial spot of tomato is a common disease in Ohio and Michigan, to our knowledge this is the first report of X. gardneri infecting tomatoes in these states and provides evidence that there may have been a shift in the primary causal agent of bacterial spot from X. euvesicatoria (3) to X. gardneri.
References: (1) H. Bouzar et al. Phytopathology 84:39, 1994. (2) A. Obradovic et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 11:285, 2004. (3) F. Sahin. Ph.D. Diss. The Ohio State University, Columbus, 1997. (4) D. J. Versalovic et al. Methods Mol. Cell. Biol. 5:25, 1994.
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