Bacterial blight was observed on field-grown guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.) for the first time in China. The disease outbreak occurred in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region after several weeks of unusually heavy rains during late summer 2013. The disease incidence was generally 40 to 50%, although values as high as 80% were observed in several fields. Initial field symptoms included water-soaked spots on leaves, pods, petioles, and stems. During later stages of infection, the color of the spots became dark. We also observed large, angular, necrotic lesions at leaf tips, black streaks on petioles and stems, split stems, defoliation, wilting or top withering, vascular necrosis, and dieback. Samples of diseased leaves, stems, petioles, pods, and seeds were surface sterilized, ground, and then plated onto King's B medium. Plates were incubated at 28°C for 72 h. Fifteen bacterial strains with yellow-pigmented, opaque, and round colonies were isolated. These strains were aerobic, gram-negative rods with a single, polar flagellum. They were positive for H2S, esculin, oxidase, tobacco hypersensitivity, indole production from tryptophan, nitrate reduction to nitrite, and the utilization of glucose, mannose, trehalose, galactose, and starch. The maximum salt tolerance of the strains was 2 to 3%. Pathogenicity tests using eight strains were conducted in July 2013. A bacterial culture was suspended in sterile water with a final concentration of 108 CFU/ml. Eight 4-week-old guar plants were inoculated by (i) spraying the bacterial suspension on the leaves until runoff, or (ii) puncturing the stems with a needle that had been dipped into the bacterial suspension. Sterile water was used as a negative control. Plants were kept in a mist room with 100% relative humidity for 24 h. Stem and leaf symptoms similar to those of the original plants were observed on the inoculated guar plants within 10 days of inoculation. No symptoms developed on the negative control plants. Yellow bacterial colonies re-isolated from inoculated plant tissues were morphologically identical to the original. 16S rDNA was amplified using universal primers (Pa 5′-AGTTTGATCCTGGCTCAG-3′ and Ph 5′-TACCTTGTTACGACTTCGTCCCA-3′) and sequenced. A BLAST search of the NCBI GenBank database indicated that the 16S rDNA sequences of three strains (accession nos. KF563926, KF563927, and KF563928) had 99.9% identity to Xanthomonas axonopodis strain XV938 (AF123091). Under greenhouse conditions, bacterial strains wilted asparagus bean and pea but rarely infected bean, kidney bean, faba bean, mung bean, soybean, red bean, pea, garbanzo bean, and peanut. Based on morphology, pathogenicity tests, 16S rDNA sequencing, and host plant specificity, the pathogen was confirmed as X. axonopodis pv. cyamopsidis (synonym: X. campestris pv. cyamopsidis [Patel et al., 1953]). To our knowledge, this is the first report of bacterial blight of guar caused by X. axonopodis pv. cyamopsidis in China. Guar has recently been introduced in Xinjiang Province. Our findings indicate that bacterial blight may pose a threat to the economic sustainability of guar production in the region.
References: (1) I. A. Milyutina et a1. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 239:17, 2004. (2) I. M. G. Almeida et al. Summa Phytopathol. 18:255, 1992. (3) J. D. Mihail et al. Plant Dis. 69:811, 1985.
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