Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is one of the most important vegetable fruits in Malaysia. Cucumber is principally grown in the states of Johor, Kelantan, and Perak. The broad host range Enterobacteriaceae pathogen, Pectobacterium carotovorum, can cause soft rot on stems or cucumber fruit. In Malaysia, cucumber is produced in a warm, humid climate, thus the plant is susceptible to attack by P. carotovorum at any time during production. In 2010, cucumber samples with wilted and chlorotic leaves, water-soaked lesions, and collapsed fruits were found in multiple fields. Small pieces of infected stems and fruit were immersed in 5 ml of saline solution (0.85% NaCl) for 20 min and then 50 μl of this suspension was spread onto nutrient agar (NA) and incubated at 27°C for 24 h. White-to-pale gray colonies with irregular margins were selected for analysis. For pathogenicity tests, cucumber fruits were surface sterilized by ethyl alcohol 70%, washed with sterilized distilled water, cut into small pieces, and inoculated with 20 μl of 108 CFU/ml suspensions of five representative strains. Cucumber plants were grown for 3 weeks in sterilized soil and their stems were inoculated with 20 μl of 108 CFU/ml of bacterial suspension. Inoculated samples and control (noninoculated) plants were placed in a growth chamber with 80 to 90% relative humidity at 27°C. Symptoms occurred on fruit slices and stems after 1 to 3 days and appeared the same as naturally infected samples, but the control samples remained healthy. Koch's postulates were fulfilled with the reisolation of cultures with the same characteristics as described earlier. Hypersensitivity reaction (HR) assays were done by infiltrating 108 CFU/ml of bacterial suspension into tobacco leaf epidermis and HR developed. All strains were subjected to biochemical and morphological assays, as well as molecular assessment. The strains were gram negative, facultative anaerobes, rod shaped, able to macerate potato slices and growth at 37°C; catalase positive; oxidase and phosphatase negative; able to degrade pectate; sensitive to erythromycin; negative for utilization of α-methyl glycoside, indole production, and reduction of sugars from sucrose; acid production from arabitol, sorbitol, and utilization of citrate were negative, but positive for raffinose and melibiose utilization. PCR amplification of the pel gene by Y1 and Y2 primers produced a 434-bp fragment on agarose gel 1% (1). Amplification of intergenic transcribed spacer region by G1 and L1 primers gave two main bands at approximately 535 and 580 bp on agarose gel 1.5%. The ITS-PCR products were digested with RsaI restriction enzyme (3). On the basis of biochemical and morphological characteristics, PCR-based pel gene and characterization of the ITS region, and digestion of the ITS-PCR products with RsaI restriction enzyme, all isolates were identified as P. carotovorum subsp. carotovorum. To our knowledge, this is the first report of soft rot caused by P. carotovorum subsp. carotovorum on cucumber from Malaysia.
References: (1) A. Darraas et al. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60:1437, 1994. (2) N. W Schaad et al. Laboratory Guide for the Identification of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. 3rd ed. The American Phytopathological Society Press, St. Paul, 2001. (3) I. K. Toth et al. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:4070, 2001.
Get ALL the Latest Updates for ICPP2018: PLANT HEALTH IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY. Follow APS!