E. Jouen, and
C. Boyer, CIRAD-Université de la Réunion, UMR PVBMT, Saint Pierre, La Réunion, F-97410 France;
G. Wuster and
B. Hostachy, LNPV, Pôle de Protection des Plantes, Saint Pierre, La Réunion, F-97410 France; and
C. Napoles and
W. Dogley, Ministère de l'Environnement et des Ressources Naturelles, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Bacterial leaf spot of cucurbits caused by Xanthomonas cucurbitae (4) can be a harmful disease of several cucurbit species in tropical environments, mainly within the Cucumis, Cucurbita, and Citrullus genera. The bacterium induces angular, water-soaked leaf spots, which sometimes become necrotic and have a chlorotic halo. Scab-like lesions on fruit can also be observed (2). Water-soaked, angular leaf lesions were collected from approximately 15 watermelon plants (Citrullus lanatus) in a production field located in Mahé, Seychelles in 2003. Yellow-pigmented Xanthomonas-like bacterial colonies were isolated on KC semiselective medium (yeast extract 7 g, peptone 7 g, glucose 7 g, agar 18 g, distilled water 1,000 ml, propiconazole 20 μg ml--1, cephalexin 40 mg liter--1, and kasugamycin 20 mg liter--1) from all isolation attempts (3). Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis was performed on four watermelon strains together with reference strains of Xanthomonas cucurbitae (LMG 690 [type strain] and LMG 8663) and the type strain of all other valid Xanthomonas species using SacI/MspI and four primer pairs (unlabeled MspI + 1 [A, C, T, or G] primers and 5′-labeled -- SacI + C primer for the selective amplification step) (1). The four strains from watermelon showed identical fingerprints and were most closely related to X. cucurbitae. One strain from diseased watermelon (JZ88-1) was further analyzed by MultiLocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) using portions of three housekeeping genes (atpD, dnaK, and gyrB) as described previously (1). This strain displayed a very high relatedness (99.8 and 98.9% with strain LMG 690 and LMG 8663, respectively) to the two reference strains of X. cucurbitae. AFLP and MLSA were useful for identifying strains at the species level that were consistent with previous results (1). Bottle-gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima), squash cv. Aurore (Cucurbita pepo), cucumber cv. L-04 (Cucumis sativus), cantaloupe melon cv. Cezanne (Cucumis melo), and watermelon cv. Fou-nan (C. lanatus) leaves were infiltrated (10 inoculation sites per leaf and three replicates) with bacterial suspensions (JZ88-1, LMG 690 and LMG 8663) containing approximately 1 × 105 CFU ml--1 (approximately 1 × 102 CFU per inoculation site). Typical water-soaked lesions that developed into necrotic spots were observed 6 to 8 days after inoculation for all inoculated strains on all inoculated plant species. One month after inoculation, Xanthomonas was recovered from lesions and population sizes determined on KC semiselective medium (3) ranging from 1 × 106 to 9 × 106 CFU per lesion were typical of a compatible interaction. Bacterial leaf spot has appeared sporadically in Mahé, Seychelles since 2003, most often with limited incidence. However, growers need to be aware of the potential negative effect of this disease in tropical environments.
References: (1) N. Ah-You et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 59:306, 2009. (2) J. F. Bradbury. Page 309 in: Guide to Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. CAB International, Slough, UK, 1986. (3) O. Pruvost et al. J. Appl. Microbiol. 99:803, 2005. (4) L. Vauterin et al. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 45:472, 1995.