Burkholderia gladioli is one of the causal agents of bacterial panicle blight of rice (BPB). Although B. glumae is considered the main pathogen responsible of BPB, B. gladioli can also cause this disease in rice (3). B. gladioli is also of clinical importance because of the ability of some strains to cause respiratory infections in humans (2). Symptoms in rice plantations of Palestina city, like upright panicles with grayish-straw color, grain rot, and vain grains were observed in July 2013, although similar symptoms were first noticed as early as 2012 in other regions of Ecuador. Since then, similar symptomatology has been reported by farmers in coastal provinces, possibly affecting 75% of the crops. One of the causal agents was recently identified as B. glumae but other bacteria were observed in infected rice (1). Plants showing BPB symptoms were collected from Palestina and bacteria were isolated from panicle twigs using the semi selective SPG agar (KH2PO4 1.3 g, Na2HPO4 1.2 g, (NH4)2SO4 5 g, MgSO4·7H2O 0.25 g, Na2MoO4·2H2O 24 mg, EDTA-Fe 10 mg, L-cystine 10 μg, D-sorbitol 10 g, pheneticillin potassium 50 mg, ampicillin sodium 10 mg, cetrimide 10 mg, methyl violet 1 mg, phenol red 20 mg, agar 15 g/liter distilled water). Colonies were then transferred to PDA. Presumptive B. gladioli colonies were classified into two groups according to their color on PDA. Colonies from group one (six strains) were dull yellow, whereas those from group two (two strains) were olive colored. Both groups produced fluorescent colonies with smooth, shiny surfaces on PDA. All cells were gram-negative rods with the following dimensions: 0.8 to 2.0 × 0.4 to 0.6 μm (group one) or 1.5 to 2.5 × 0.4 to 0.7 μm (group two). All colonies were subjected to biochemical tests (API 20NE) and shared a 99% or higher similarity (APIWEB) with B. gladioli. To confirm identity, genomic DNA was extracted (gDNA extraction kit from Invitrogen) and a portion of the 16s rDNA was amplified by PCR using the primers 536F: 5′-GTGCCAGCMGCCGCGGTAATAC-3′ and 1492R: 5′-GGTTACCTTGTTACGACTT-3′ followed by sequencing. Sequences of group one strains shared 100% similarity with B. gladioli strain OM1 (GenBank Accession No. EU678361) while the sequences from group two strains were 100% similar to B. gladioli strain BgHL-01 (JX566503). Sequences of the Ecuadorian strains were deposited into NCBI GenBank (group one: KF669879 to KF669882, KF669884, and KF669885; group two: KF669883 and KF669886). Pathogenicity was confirmed by submerging rice seeds in a cell suspension with 108 CFU of the pathogen for 24 h. Seeds were germinated at 28°C and about 70% RH on autoclaved peat. Inoculated seeds yielded plants with BPB symptoms 6 days after planting. Re-isolated strains shared a 99.9% similarity with B. gladioli by APIWEB. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of B. gladioli as a rice pathogen in Ecuador.
References: (1) C. Riera-Ruiz et al. Plant Dis. 98:988, 2014. (2) C. Segonds et al. J. Clin. Microbiol. 47:1510, 2009. (3) H. Ura et al. J. Gen. Plant Pathol. 72:98, 2006.
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