First and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis 95616; and second author: Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences Department, University of Idaho, Kimberly Research & Extension Center, 3793 North 3600 East, Kimberly 83341-5076.
Common bacterial blight (CBB) of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans, and is the most important bacterial disease of this crop in many regions of the world. In 2005 and 2006, dark red kidney bean fields in a major bean-growing region in central Wisconsin were surveyed for CBB incidence and representative symptomatic leaves collected. Xanthomonad-like bacteria were isolated from these leaves and characterized based upon phenotypic (colony) characteristics, pathogenicity on common bean, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with X. campestris pv. phaseoli- and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans-specific primers, and repetitive-element PCR (rep-PCR) and 16S-28S ribosomal RNA spacer region sequence analyses. Of 348 isolates that were characterized, 293 were identified as common blight bacteria (i.e., pathogenic on common bean and positive in PCR tests with the X. campestris pv. phaseoli- and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans-specific primers), whereas the other isolates were nonpathogenic xanthomonads. Most (98%) of the pathogenic xanthomonads were X. campestris pv. phaseoli, consistent with the association of this bacterium with CBB in large-seeded bean cultivars of the Andean gene pool. Two types of X. campestris pv. phaseoli were involved with CBB in this region: typical X. campestris pv. phaseoli (P) isolates with yellow mucoid colonies, no brown pigment production, and a typical X. campestris pv. phaseoli rep-PCR fingerprint (60% of strains); and a new phenotype and genotype (Px) with an X. campestris pv. phaseoli-type fingerprint and less mucoid colonies that produced brown pigment (40% of strains). In addition, a small number of X. fuscans subsp. fuscans strains, representing a new genotype (FH), were isolated from two fields in 2005. Representative P and Px X. campestris pv. phaseoli strains, an FH X. fuscans subsp. fuscans strain, plus five previously characterized X. campestris pv. phaseoli and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans genotypes were inoculated onto 28 common bean genotypes having various combinations of known CBB resistance quantitative trait loci (QTL) and associated sequence-characterized amplified region markers. Different levels of virulence were observed for X. campestris pv. phaseoli strains, whereas X. fuscans subsp. fuscans strains were similar in virulence. The typical X. campestris pv. phaseoli strain from Wisconsin was most virulent, whereas X. campestris pv. phaseoli genotypes from East Africa were the least virulent. Host genotypes having the SU91 marker-associated resistance and one or more other QTL (i.e., pyramided resistance), such as the VAX lines, were highly resistant to all genotypes of common blight bacteria tested. This information will help in the development of CBB resistance-breeding strategies for different common bean market classes in different geographical regions, as well as the identification of appropriate pathogen genotypes for screening for resistance.