K. K. Mondal,
C. Mani, and
J. Singh, Division of Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi 110012 India;
S. R. Dave and
D. R. Tipre, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India;
A. Kumar, Division of Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi 110012 India; and
B. M. Trivedi, Ahmedabad, India
Fruit rot disease (FRD), an emerging problem of tinda (Praecitrullus fistulosus) in India. FRD epidemics begin during rainy and warm weather and often spoil marketable produce. Symptoms appear as numerous, pale brown-to-dark brown, deeply penetrating circular soft rot lesions on fleshy fruit tissues. Noneffervescent bacterial exudates occasionally form on lesions. Repeated isolations from FRD-affected tinda fruits consistently yielded the same bacterial species. Inoculation of the isolated bacterium into asymptomatic tinda fruits produced identical soft rot symptoms. Fruits were inoculated with the isolate ITCC B0030 (0.1 OD) by removing a 2.0-cm deep tissue plug with a sterile cork borer (5 mm in diameter) and injecting the inoculum with a syringe in the cylindrical cavity. After inoculation, the plug (upper 5 mm) was reinserted, sealed with sterile paraffin, and covered with a small piece of wet absorbent cotton to prevent dehydration. High humidity (>90%) and 30 to 33°C temperature was maintained after inoculation in a glasshouse. After 4 to 10 days, fruits showed FRD symptoms. The reisolated bacterium from artificially inoculated symptomatic fruits was identical with the original inoculated bacterium. Identity of the bacterial pathogen for FRD was confirmed by phenotypic and genotypic methods. The causal bacterium was a gram-negative, non-sporing motile rod with a single polar flagellum. The bacterium produced yellowish green and blue-green diffusible pigments on King's B (KB) medium. On yeast dextrose calcium carbonate agar at 30°C, the colonies produced abundant, blue, diffusible pigment within 48 h. The bacterium grew at temperatures up to 42°C but not at 4°C. Excellent growth occurred on Salmonella-Shigella agar and MaConkey's medium, as reported also for Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain P8. The bacterium produced ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, arginine dihydrolase, urease, lipase, catalase, gelatinase, and casinase but not amylase, indole, or acetyl methyl carbinol. The bacterium was identified as P. aeruginosa using Biolog based Bacterial Identification System version 4.2 (Biolog Inc., Hayward, CA). The bacterium did not utilize cellobiose, dulcitol, maltose, sorbitol, sucrose, arabinose, and starch. Upon infiltration on tobacco leaves (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi) at 107 or more cells ml–1, the bacterium gave a strong hypersensitive reaction within 24 h. Transmission electron micrographs (TEM, KYKY 1000B, Japan) of the causal bacterium revealed a single, polar flagellum. Identity was further confirmed as P. aeruginosa based on 16S rRNA sequence (1,491 nt) analysis with universal primers F1 (5′-GAGTTTGATCCTGGCTCAG-3′) and R13 (5′-AGAAAGGAGGTGATCCAGCC-3′). A blastN search of GenBank revealed a >99% nt identity with P. aeruginosa strain TAUC 7 (HQ914782). The 16S rRNA gene sequence (1,491 nt) was deposited in Bankit GenBank (JF797204). To our knowledge, this is the first report of fruit rot of tinda caused by P. aeruginosa in India (ITCC B0030) and a new record of bacterial rot of Praecitrullus fistulosus induced by a fluorescent and blue-green pigment producing P. aeruginosa. To date, P. syringae pv. lachrymans and a nonfluorescent P. pseudoalcaligenes subsp. citrulli were reported to infect Citrullus lanata (1) and Praecitrullus fistulosus (2), respectively.
References: (1) D. L. Hopkins and N. C. Schenck. Phytopathology 62:542, 1972. (2) N. W. Schaad et al. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 28:117, 1978.