X. F. Chen, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo, 315211, China, and Ningbo Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, Ningbo, 315012, China;
H. L. Zhang, Ningbo Academy of Inspection and Quarantine;
J. Chen, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University
A bacterial pathogen, Dickeya solani, emerged as a major threat to potato (Solanum tuberosum) production in Europe in 2004 and has spread to many potato-growing regions via international trade. In December 2013, soft rot symptoms were observed in hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) bulbs imported from the Netherlands into China at Ningbo Port. Diseased bulbs gave off an offensive odor. The base and internal parts of diseased bulbs rotted, and the margins of diseased tissues showed brown discoloration. Isolation on nutrient agar glucose (NAG) medium resulted in dominating colonies of characteristic “fried egg” morphology (1). One colony was chosen for further investigation and tentatively named “isolate 6165-3.” Under microscopic visualization after gram stain, the cells of isolate 6165-3 were gram-negative, motile, and rod shaped. The isolate was then identified as a member of genus Dickeya using the Biolog GN microplate. The 16S rRNA, recA, and dnaX sequences of isolate 6165-3 were subsequently determined and deposited in GenBank with accession numbers KM405240, KM405241, and KM405242, sharing 99% (16S rRNA), 100% (recA), and 100% (dnaX) nucleotide identity with those of known D. solani isolates, respectively. By this means, the isolate 6165-3 was identified as D. solani (1,2). To confirm the pathogenicity of the isolate, four plants each of 30-day-old hyacinth, 14-day-old potato, and 60-day-old moth orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis) were inoculated with suspensions of the isolate with a concentration of 108 CFU/ml in sterile water by stabbing. Plants were incubated in a climate chamber at 28°C during the day and 24°C during the night with a relative humidity of 93% and a photoperiod of 12/12 h. Plants inoculated with sterile water were included as negative controls. After 2 or 3 days, typical symptoms such as water-soaked lesions and soft rot developed around the inoculation point, while the negative controls remained symptomless. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by re-isolating bacteria from lesions, which had identical sequence and morphology characters with the inoculated isolate. This is the first report of intercepted D. solani on hyacinth bulbs imported from the Netherlands into China, indicating that D. solani can spread via hyacinth. Further spread of the pathogen into potato production might lead to immeasurable economic consequences for China.
References: (1) P. F. Sarris et al. New Dis. Rep. 24:21, 2011. (2) J. M. van der Wolf et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 64:768, 2014.