A. Végh, Department of Plant Pathology, Corvinus University of Budapest, Ménesi Road 44, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary;
M. Hevesi, Department of Pomology, Corvinus University of Budapest, Villányi Street 29-43, H-1118 Budapest; and
Zs. Némethy and
L. Palkovics, Department of Plant Pathology, Corvinus University of Budapest, Ménesi Road 44, H-1118 Budapest, Hungary. The project was funded by TÁMOP- 4.2.1./B-09/1-KMR-2010-0005 and TÁMOP- 4.2.2./B-10/1-2010-0023 grants
In April 2011, typical bacterial spot symptoms were observed on sweet basil plantlets (Ocimum basilicum L.) in a supermarket in Budapest, Hungary. Affected plants had dark brown-to-black lesions on the cotyledons. Spots on the leaves were first water soaked and then became necrotic and progressed inward from the margins. Symptoms were similar to those reported by Little et al. (3) on basil affected by Pseudomonas viridiflava. Bacteria consistently isolated from leaf lesions formed mucoid colonies with a green fluorescent pigment on King's B medium. Strains were gram negative. In LOPAT (levan-oxidase-potato rot-arginine dihydrolase-tobacco hypersensitivity) tests (2), all induced a hypersensitive reaction (HR) in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. White Burley) leaves (1), caused soft rot of potato tuber slices, and were negative for levan, oxidase, and arginine dihydrolase. Biochemical tests, API 20NE and API 50 CH (Biomérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France), were also used for identification. The pathogenicity of three isolates was tested twice by injecting 20-day-old healthy basil plants with a bacterial suspension (107 CFU/ml). Controls were injected with sterile distilled water. Plants were kept at 25 to 28°C and 80 to 100% relative humidity. Forty-eight hours after inoculation, dark brown-to-black lesions were observed only on inoculated plants. The bacterium was reisolated from lesions of all plants tested, fulfilling Koch's postulates. No lesions were observed on controls. To identify the pathogen, a PCR technique was used. The 16SrDNA region was amplified with general bacterial primer pair (63f forward and 1389r reverse) (4) then the PCR products were cloned into Escherichia coli DH5α cells and a recombinant plasmid was sequenced by M13 forward and reverse primers. The sequence was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. HE585219). On the basis of the symptoms, biochemical tests, and 16SrDNA sequence homology (99% sequence similarity with a number of P. viridiflava isolates), the pathogen was identified as P. viridiflava. To our knowledge, this is the first report of bacterial leaf spot of basil in Hungary, which can seriously affect the basil production.
References: (1) Z. Klement. Nature 199:299, 1963. (2) R. A. Lelliot et al. Appl. Bacteriol. 29:470, 1966. (3) E. L. Little et al. Plant Dis. 78:831, 1994. (4) A. M. Osborn et al. Environ. Microbiol. 2:39, 2000.