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Survival of Xanthomonas fragariae on common materials found in strawberry nurseries

Hehe Wang: Clemson University

<div><em>Xanthomonas fragariae</em> causes strawberry angular leaf spot, an important disease in strawberry nursery production. To identify potential inoculum sources, the ability of <em>X. fragariae</em> to survive was examined on 10 common materials typically associated with strawberry nurseries (cardboard, glass, latex gloves, strawberry leaves, medal, plastic bags, rubber, T-shirt, Tyvek, and wood). Each surface was artificially contaminated with the bacteria and stored at room temperature and -4°C, respectively. The bacteria were collected from each surface with PBS-soaked cotton balls at 10 time points from the day of contamination until one year after. During each sampling, the survival rates were examined by testing the bacteria isolated from the PBS-soaked cotton balls by PMA-qPCR, and by rub-inoculating strawberry plants with the cotton balls. The experiment was conducted four times with a different <em>X. fragariae</em> isolate per experiment. Results showed that <em>X. fragariae</em> survival rates varied by both the material and storage temperature, and the longest survival was observed on cardboard stored at -4°C, the conditions which dormant plants are stored in strawberry nurseries. The information provided by this study may contribute to the development of improved sanitation and disease management strategies for strawberry nurseries.</div>