In July 2011, bacterial stripe was observed on a commercial field of hog millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) in Chuncheon, Korea, with a disease incidence of 37% in the field. Symptoms on leaves included reddish-brown, long, narrow stripes that varied in length and were sharply delineated by uninfected adjacent vascular bundles. Eleven bacterial isolates (BC3107, BC3214 to BC3223) were recovered on trypticase soy agar from lesions surface sterilized in 70% ethanol for 1 min. The isolates, all obtained from different plants, were gram negative, oxidase positive, aerobic rods with two to four flagella. The isolates produced circular, cream-colored, nonfluorescent, butyrous colonies with entire margins on King's B medium. Using the Biolog Microbial Identification System, Version 4.2 (Biolog Inc., Hayward, CA), the isolates were identified as Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae with Biolog similarity indices ranging from 0.52 to 0.72 after 24 hr. Characters for differentiating between Acidovorax spp. were tested according to Schaad et al. (2). The isolates were positive for gelatin liquefaction, nitrate reduction, lipase production, utilization of D-mannitol, sodium citrate, and alkaline in litmus milk. The isolates were negative for utilization of D-arabitol and did not amplify with PCR primer sets Aaaf5, Aaaf3/Aaar2, and Aacf2/Aacr2. Colonies were V–, V+, and V+ for utilization of D-fucose, maltose, and ethanol, respectively. Regions of the 16S rRNA (rrs) and the IGS were sequenced to aid in the identification of the isolates using reported PCR primer sets (1,4). A 1,426 bp fragment of the rrs region shared 100% similarity with all strains of A. avenae available in GenBank. Pathogenicity tests were separately performed for the 11 isolates in different greenhouses located in Suwon (National Academy of Agricultural Science), and Chuncheon (Gangwondo Agricultural Research and Extension Services) in Korea. Pathogenicity was confirmed by clip inoculation with sterilized scissors dipped into cell suspensions containing 105 CFU/ml on three 8-day-old leaves of hog millet (two plants per isolate), rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Hopyeong), and sweet corn (Zea mays L. cv. Daehak) in a greenhouse maintained at 28 to 32°C and 90% relative humidity. The isolates induced similar symptoms as those originally observed on hog millet 5 days after inoculation. No symptoms were observed on the control plants (hog millet, rice, and sweet corn), which were clipped with scissors dipped in sterilized distilled water. The identity of bacteria reisolated from the stripes on inoculated leaves was confirmed by analyzing sequences of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (IGS) (1). On the basis of physiological, pathological, and sequence data, the isolates were identified as A. avenae subsp. avenae. To our knowledge, this is the first report of bacterial stripe of hog millet caused by A. avenae subsp. avenae in Korea. The spread of the bacterial disease is expected to have a significant economic impact on hog millet culture in the fields of Gangwon Province in Korea. Nucleotide sequence data reported are available under accession numbers JQ743877 to JQ743887 for rrs of BC 3207 and BC3214 to BC3223, and JQ743877 to JQ743887 for IGS of BC3207 and BC3214 to BC3223.
References: (1) T. Barry et al. The PCR Methods Appl. 1:51, 1991. (2) N. W. Schaad et al. Syst, Appl. Microbiol. 31: 434, 2008. (3) K. Tamura et al. Mol. Biol. Evol. 28:2731, 2011. (4) W. G. Weisburg et al. J. Bacteriol. 173: 697, 1991.