In 1978 and 1979, Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola strains DAR 33362, DAR 33363, and DAR 33406 were isolated from diseased Brassica hirta, B. nigra, and B. napus var. napus, respectively, in Wagga Wagga and Armatree, NSW, Australia (2). Peters et al. (2) demonstrated that these strains were similar to P. syringae pv. maculicola ICMP 4326 (CFBP 1637), which was recently transferred to Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis (1). We evaluated these Australian strains to determine if they might also be P. cannabina pv. alisalensis. Amplification of DNA using the BOXA1R primer and PCR resulted in identical DNA fragment banding patterns for Australian strains DAR 33362 and DAR 33363 and P. cannabina pv. alisalensis ICMP 4326 and CFBP 6875. The third Australian strain, DAR 33406, was 90% similar to P. cannabina pv. alisalensis; in contrast, it was only 77% similar to P. syringae pv. maculicola. All strains of P. cannabina pv. alisalensis, including the pathotype strain (CFBP 6866) and all three Australian strains, were lysed by bacteriophage PBS1, which is specific for P. cannabina pv. alisalensis strains (1). To complete Koch's postulates, pathogenicity was evaluated on B. hirta, B. nigra, and B. napus var. napus. In two independent experiments, two plants of each species were inoculated with each Australian strain or a phosphate buffer control treatment. In separate experiments, pathogenicity was evaluated on the differential hosts radish (Raphanus sativus cv. Comet) and broccoli raab (Brassica rapa cv. Sorrento), and plants inoculated with the pathotypes of P. cannabina pv. alisalensis and P. syringae pv. maculicola served as additional control treatments. Inoculum was prepared by growing the bacteria on nutrient agar for 48 h (27°C), suspending the bacteria in 0.01 M phosphate buffer (pH 7.0), and adjusting each suspension to 0.6 OD at 600 nm (approximately 108 CFU/ml). Treatments were applied by spraying until runoff. DAR 33362, DAR 33363, and DAR 33406 caused typical bacterial blight symptoms on B. hirta, B. nigra, and B. napus var. napus. Infected leaves became yellow, followed by the development of small (<2 mm in diameter), angular, water-soaked, and eventually, shot-holed spots. Bacteria isolated from symptomatic tissue following surface disinfestation of tissue with sodium hypochlorite (0.525%) had identical characteristics (rep-PCR DNA fragment banding patterns and phage sensitivity) to the strains used to inoculate the plants. Additionally, DAR 33362, DAR 33363, and DAR 33406, as well as P. cannabina pv. alisalensis, caused symptoms on radish and broccoli raab while P. syringae pv. maculicola and the buffer control did not. These data support the transfer of the Australian crucifer strains, originally identified as P. syringae pv. maculicola, to P. cannabina pv. alisalensis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a bacterial disease of crucifers caused by P. cannabina pv. alisalensis in Australia. Differentiation of these pathogens will inform crop rotation strategies for disease management.
References: (1) C. T. Bull et al. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 33:105, 2010. (2) B. J. Peters et al. Plant Pathol. 53:3, 2004.