University of California Cooperative Extension, Salinas 93901
Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens 90602
Bacterial blight is a new disease of broccoli raab or rappini (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) that has developed on commercially grown crops in the Salinas Valley (Monterey County) in California. Symptoms consist of small, angular, water-soaked flecks on lower foliage that are visible from both adaxial and abaxial sides of the leaves. These flecks expand and become surrounded by bright yellow borders. With time, multiple leaf spots coalesce and result in large, irregular necrotic areas, extensive leaf yellowing, and eventual leaf death. If symptoms develop on the uppermost leaves attached to the inflorescence, the shoot loses market quality and will not be harvested. Pseudomonas syringae was consistently isolated from symptomatic plants, and selected strains caused similar symptoms when inoculated onto broccoli raab test plants. Broccoli raab strains caused leaf spot symptoms on nine other Cruciferous plants, as well as on three grass species (California brome, oat, and common timothy). Conversely, broccoli raab was not infected by P. syringae pathovars coronafaciens, maculicola, and tomato. Broccoli raab strains were positive for coronatine toxin production. Fatty acid analyses indicated that the P. syringae from broccoli raab was most closely related to P. syringae pvs. coronafaciens and maculicola, but its distinct host range suggests that it may be considered a separate pathovar.