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First Report of Bacterial Soft Rot of White Flowered Calla Lily Caused by Erwinia chrysanthemi in Taiwan

November 2002 , Volume 86 , Number  11
Pages  1,273.1 - 1,273.1

Y.-A. Lee and K.-P. Chen , Department of Life Science, Fu Jen Catholic University, Hsin Chuang 24205, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China ; and Y.-C. Chang , Department of Plant Pathology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

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Accepted for publication 16 August 2002.

In 2002, soft rot symptoms on white flowered calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) were found in some nurseries in the Yang Ming Shan area, Taipei, Taiwan. The disease was characterized by foul smelling rot and collapse of flower stems. Isolations from diseased flower stems consistently yielded bacterial colonies that were translucent, white, and glistening on nutrient agar. Ten representative isolates were chosen for further characterization. All isolates were gram-negative rods, facultatively anaerobic, sensitive to erythromycin (25 μg/ml), negative for oxidase and arginine dihydrolase, and positive for catalase, phosphatase, tryptophanase (indole production), and lecithinase. They fermented glucose and reduced nitrates to nitrites. The maximum temperature for growth was 37°C. The isolates hydrolyzed gelatin and esculin, produced acids from utilizing D(+)-glucose, melibiose, amygdalin, L(+)-arabinose, D-mannitol, and sucrose, but not from trehalose, lactose, D-sorbitol, or maltose. They degraded pectate and rotted potato, carrot, sweet pepper, and onion slices. Bacterial suspensions (108 CFU/ml) were injected in stems of white flowered calla lily to fulfill Koch's postulates. Control plants were inoculated with sterile distilled water. Inoculated plants were kept in a growth chamber at 30°C. Symptoms developed 1 to 2 days in all four inoculated plants and appeared to be identical to those observed on diseased material in nurseries. The four control plants did not rot. The bacterium was readily reisolated from diseased plants, confirmed to be the inoculated pathogen, and identified as Erwinia chrysanthemi. E. carotovora subsp. carotovora has been reported to cause soft rot of other calla lilies, such as Zantedeschia sp. cvs. Black Magic and Pink Persuasion and Z. elliottiana in Taiwan (1). However, to our knowledge, this is the first report of soft rot caused by E. chrysanthemi on white flowered calla lily in Taiwan.

Reference: (1) S. T. Hsu and K. C. Tzeng. Pages 9--18 in: Proc. Int. Conf. Plant Path. Bact., 5th. J. C. Lozano, ed. CIAT, Cali, Colombia, 1981.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society