Citrus canker is caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri. All grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) cultivars are highly susceptible to the A-group strains of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri. A type of grapefruit (Citrus sp.) called Dalan Dan (DD) has shown high resistance in the field in Misiones, Argentina where it is widely planted. The DD is Accession No. NC678 in the Campinas Citrus Germplasm Collection (Centro APTA Citrus Sylvio Moreira, Cordeiropolis, SP, Brazil) and Accession No. CCC-618 Dalan Dan in the Argentina Citrus Germplasm Collection at INTA (Concordia, Entre Ríos). Molecular studies completed in Brazil have shown high similarities among grapefruit varieties and DD (1). We report here the characterization of quantitative resistance to citrus canker in DD. Quantitative resistance in citrus is expressed as lower number of lesions per leaf area (3). Lesions per square centimeter were calculated after 3 to 4 weeks of two sets of inoculation of three inoculum levels (5 × 102, 2.5 × 103, and 5 × 103 cells per ml) in leaves of developing leaf flushes. The period of greatest susceptibility in DD was 15 to 23 days for the three inoculum levels; 1.35 ± 0.34 to 0.01 ± 0.01, 4.98 ± 0.91 to 0.91 ± 0.48, and 9.85 ± 2.17 to 1.91 ± 1.37 lesions per cm2, respectively. By contrast, the period of greatest susceptibility in grapefruit cv. Duncan was 15 to 29 days for the same three inoculum levels; 2.78 ± 0.46 to 1.22 ± 0.39, 17.29 ± 2.79 to 5.55 ± 0.93, and 22.87 ± 3.27 to 11.95 ± 3.55 lesions per cm2, respectively. The results shown here suggest that the DD citrus accession is susceptible to citrus canker for a very short time during the development of leaf flushes, which results in very high resistance in the field. This citrus germplasm material could be valuable as a source of resistance to improve other varieties or as a replacement of grapefruit due to the similar fruit and juice qualities.
References: (1) M. J. Corazza-Nunes et al. Euphytica 126:169, 2002. (2) M. J. Corazza-Nunes et al. Summa Phytopathol. 32:322, 2006. (3) R. E. Stall et al. Phytopathology 72:1097, 1982.