Breeder rice seeds from Burkina Faso harvesteds in 1999 were tested for Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae. This pathogen affects rice, maize, sorghum, and other Gramineae. Ten samples of 200 seeds in each sample were tested by the cassette holder method for detection of this bacterium (1). Seedlings were evaluated for symptom development after 14 days at 27 to 30°C and 100% relative humidity under fluorescent light (12 h photoperiod). Bacterial stripe symptoms were observed in seedlings raised from 9 of 10 seed samples tested, and incidence ranged from 5 to 20%. Diseased seedlings showed water-soaked areas on coleoptiles and brown stripes on leaf sheaths and mid-ribs. Twenty-six strains obtained from diseased seedlings were characterized using several criteria. Colonies were small, whitish-grey, raised, entire and translucent on nutrient agar and cream-tan, raised, entire, and did not produce fluorescent pigment on King's medium B. They were Gram negative, oxidase positive and nitrate positive. Variable reactions were recorded for starch hydrolysis; 22 strains reacted positively and 4 negatively. All 26 strains reacted positively in ELISA performed with antiserum against A. avenae subsp. avenae. Results using Biolog GN MicroPlates (Biolog Inc., Hayward, CA computer identification system, Release 4.0) showed all strains to be A. avenae subsp. avenae (sim. 0.709 to 0.802). Hypersensitive reactions on leaves of 2-month-old tobacco plants infiltrated with bacterial suspensions were recorded within 24 h. Strains were tested for pathogenicity by injecting stems of 21-day-old rice plants with bacterial suspensions (approximately 108 CFU/ml). Inoculated seedlings were incubated for 4 to 7 days under humid conditions at 28°C. Inoculated rice plants showed brown stripes and non-inoculated control seedlings remained symptomless. Based on biochemical, serological, and biological characteristics, strains were identified as A. avenae subsp. avenae. This is the first report of A. avenae subsp. avenae, causal agent of bacterial stripe of rice, in Burkina Faso. The common presence of A. avenae subsp. avenae in breeder rice seeds emphasizes the need for control measures to limit further spread to unaffected rice-growing areas and other cereal crops.
Reference: (1) D. D. Shakya et al. Phytopathol. Z. 114:256--259, 1985.