In 1998, a new disease was detected on 3-week-old commercial broccolini (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis × B. alboglabra) transplants in a Salinas Valley, Monterey County, CA greenhouse. Initial symptoms were small (2 to 4 mm diameter) circular to angular, water-soaked spots. As the disease progressed, spots remained relatively small, but turned tan to brown. When diseased tissues were macerated and streaked on King's medium B, a blue-green fluorescent pseudomonad was consistently isolated. Strains were levan positive, oxidase negative, and arginine dihydrolase negative. Strains did not rot potato slices, but induced a hypersensitive reaction on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. ‘Turk’). Fatty acid methyl ester analysis (MIS-TSBA, version 4.10, MIDI Inc., Newark, DE) indicated that strains had a high similarity index (0.82 or higher) to Pseudomonas syringae, and GN (version 3.50, Biolog, Inc., Hayward, CA) profiles also identified strains as P. syringae. The bacterium associated with the disease, therefore, was identified as P. syringae van Hall. Pathogenicity was demonstrated by growing inoculum in nutrient broth shake cultures for 48 h, misting the broth cultures (1×106 CFU/ml) onto broccolini (cv. Aspabrock), and subjecting the plants to 48 h of high humidity. Control plants were misted with sterile nutrient broth. After 4 to 5 days in a greenhouse, leaf spot symptoms developed on all inoculated broccolini plants, and reisolated strains were characterized and found to be P. syringae. Control plants remained symptomless. The results of two sets of pathogenicity tests were the same. Repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction using the BOXA1R primer resulted in identical banding patterns for the broccolini pathogen and for known isolates of P. syringae pv. maculicola from crucifers. In host range testing, P. syringae pv. maculicolawas pathogenic to broccolini plants. The broccolini isolates and P. syringae pv. maculicola isolates had the same pathogenicity results when crucifers and tomatoes were tested as hosts; broccoli and cauliflower (B. oleracea var. botrytis) were infected, and tomato results were variable. These tests suggest that the broccolini pathogen is the bacterial leaf spot pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola, that occurs on broccoli and cauliflower transplants (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of this pathogen causing a disease on commercially grown broccolini.
Reference: (1) S. T. Koike et al. Plant Dis. 82:727, 1998.