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Recent Outbreaks of Black Rot of Brassicas Caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in Southern Mozambique

November 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  11
Pages  1,218.1 - 1,218.1

J. Bila and A. M. Mondjana, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Faculdade de Agronomia e Engenharia Florestal, Departamento de Produção e Protecção Vegetal, Maputo, Moçambique; and E. G. Wulff and C. N. Mortensen, Danish Seed Health Centre for Developing Countries, Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark. Supported by the Danish International Development Agency

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Accepted for publication 14 August 2009.

In August and September of 2007, black rot symptoms were observed on seedbed and field plants of Brassica spp. grown in the southern districts of Boane, Mahotas, and Chòkwé in Mozambique. One hundred eighty-two cabbage-growing households were evaluated for the incidence of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. Five Brassica cultivars, Glory F1, Glory of Enkhuizen, Copenhagen Market, Starke (Brassica oleracea pv. capitata L.), and Tronchuda (B. oleracea L. var. costata DC) were grown in the areas for several years. The hybrid Glory F1 was the most popular grown cultivar in the surveyed areas. In the Boane district, the highest incidence of black rot was recorded on Copenhagen Market (70%), Starke (67.9%), and Glory F1 (67.3%). In Chòkwé, Tronchuda (Portuguese kale) was the least affected Brassica crop. Water-soaked lesions starting at the edge of leaves with typical V-shaped necrotic lesions and vein discoloration were the most commonly observed symptoms. When examined with a microscope, cut edges of symptomatic stem and leaf tissues consistently exhibited bacterial streaming. The bacteria were isolated from commercial seed and field-grown plants on semiselective agar media (2). Forty-six X. campestris pv. campestris strains that were gram negative, aerobic, starch positive, nitrate negative, and oxidase negative or weakly positive (3) were further identified on the basis of ELISA (Agdia Inc., Elhart, IN), GN Biolog Microbial Identification System, version 4.2 (Biolog Inc., Hayward, CA), and PCR-specific primers (1). Pathogenicity tests were conducted by pin inoculating two upper leaves of cabbage (cv. Wirosa) in the 2- to 3-leaf stage with bacterial growth from 24-h-old agar cultures (2). Black rot symptoms developed on nearly all inoculated plants within 7 to 14 days. No symptoms were observed on control plants inoculated with a sterile pin without bacterial inoculum. The severity of black rot of Brassica spp. in three important farming districts caused significant losses in Mozambique.

References: (1) T. Berg et al. Plant Pathol. 54:416, 2005. (2) S. J. Roberts and H. Koenraadt. Page 1 in: International Rules for Seed Testing: Annexe to Chapter 7 Seed Health Methods. ISTA, 2007. (3) N. W. Schaad et al. Laboratory Guide for Identification of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. 3rd ed. The American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, MN, 2001.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society