C. C. Juhasz,
C. Vernière, and
O. Pruvost, CIRAD-Université de la Réunion, UMR PVBMT, Saint Pierre, La Réunion, F-97410 France; and
I. Wonni and
L. Ouedraogo, Institut de l'Environnement et Recherches Agricoles, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri pv. citri, is a bacterial disease of economic importance in tropical and sub-tropical citrus-producing areas (EPPO-PQR online database). X. citri pv. citri causes severe infection in a wide range of citrus species, and induces erumpent, callus-like lesions with water-soaked margins leading to premature fruit drop and twig dieback. It has consequently been subjected to eradication efforts and international regulations. It was first described on the African continent in South Africa at the beginning of the 20th century, from which it was eventually eradicated. Since 2006, several outbreaks caused by phylogenetically diverse strains of X. citri pv. citri have been reported from several African countries (Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, and Somalia). In July 2011, citrus canker in Burkina Faso was suspected in the area adjacent to the Sikassso Province of Mali where X. citri pv. citri has been confirmed. In November and December 2012, leaves of clementine (Citrus clementina), lemon (C. limon), Volkamer lemon (C. volkameriana), sweet orange (C. sinensis), tangelo (C. paradisi× C. reticulata), and mandarin (C. reticulata) were collected from orchards with trees showing symptoms of citrus canker in the Comoé, Houet, and Kénédougou provinces of Burkina Faso. Isolations performed using KC semi-selective medium (4) recovered 45 Xanthomonas-like strains. All Xanthomonas-like strains were tentatively identified as X. citri pv. citri by PCR (4/7 primers) using IAPAR 306 and sterile distilled water as the positive and negative controls, respectively (3). Among these, two strains (LK4-4 and LK4-5) produced a ‘fuscans’-like brown diffusible pigment, a phenotype never reported previously for X. citri pv. citri. MultiLocus Sequence Analysis targeting six housekeeping genes (atpD, dnaK, efp, gltA, gyrB, and lepA) (1,2) fully identified seven strains from Burkina Faso (LJ301-1, LJ303-1, LK1-1, LK2-6, LK4-3, LK4-4, and LK4-5) as X. citri pv. citri (and not to any other Xanthomonas pathovars pathogenic to citrus or host range-restricted pathotypes of pathovar citri), and more specifically as sequence type ST2 which is composed mostly of pathotype A strains of X. citri pv. citri (2). The same seven strains were inoculated to at least four leaves of each of grapefruit cv. Henderson, Mexican lime SRA 140 (C. aurantifolia), Tahiti lime SRA 58 (C. latifolia), and sweet orange cv. Washington Navel, using a detached leaf assay (2). All strains developed typical erumpent, callus-like tissue at wound sites on all citrus species inoculated. No lesions developed on the negative control (sterile 10 mM tris buffer). Koch's postulate was fulfilled after reisolation of Xanthomonas-like yellow colonies from symptoms on Mexican lime produced by the seven strains. Boiled bacterial suspensions were assayed by PCR with 4/7 primers (3) and produced the expected 468-bp amplicon in contrast with the PCR negative control. To our knowledge, this is the first report of X. citri pv. citri in Burkina Faso. Citrus canker-free nurseries and grove sanitation should be implemented for reducing the prevalence of Asiatic canker in Burkina Faso and a thorough survey of citrus nurseries and groves in the region should be conducted.
References: (1) N. F. Almeida et al. Phytopathology 100:208, 2010. (2) L. Bui Thi Ngoc et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 60:515, 2010. (3) J. S. Hartung et al. Phytopathology 86:95, 1996. (4) O. Pruvost et al. J. Appl. Microbiol. 99:803, 2005.