C. T. Bull, USDA-ARS Agricultural Research Station, Salinas, CA 93905;
M. C. Ortiz-Lytle, California State University, Monterey Bay, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center, Seaside, CA 93955;
A. G. Ibarra, Science and Math Institute, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA 93901;
L. J. du Toit, Washington State University Mount Vernon NWREC, Mount Vernon, WA 98273; and
G. Reynolds, Riverbend Farm, Delano, MN 55328
In 2011, bacterial blight of arugula (Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa; cv. Roquette) was observed in organically grown plants under overhead irrigation in a field near Delano, MN. Approximately 80 to 100% of each planting was affected, with greater rates of infection occurring after periods of high humidity. Small, water-soaked, angular spots apparent on both sides of the leaves comprised the initial symptoms, which sometimes expanded and coalesced. Lesions maintained a dark water-soaked appearance or dried and turned a brown/tan color. Additionally, some lesions were outlined by a purple margin. Blue-green fluorescent pseudomonads were isolated consistently on King's Medium B agar (KMB) from symptomatic leaf tissue surface-disinfested with sodium hypochlorite (0.525%). The isolates nucleated ice and produced levan. Isolates were oxidase and arginine dihydrolase negative. They did not rot potato slices but did induce a hypersensitive reaction in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Samsun). These data indicated that the bacteria belonged to Lelliott's LOPAT group 1 (2). DNA fragment banding patterns generated by amplifying DNA of the arugula isolates using repetitive extragenic palindromic sequence–polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR) and the BOX A1R primer were identical and nearly identical to the banding patterns of the Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis (formerly P. syringae pv. alisalensis) (1) strain (CFBP1637) and the pathotype strain (CFBP 6866PT), respectively. Pathogenicity was confirmed on the arugula cv. My Way in two independent experiments, each with three replicate plants per treatment. Four isolates were grown on KMB for 48 h at 27°C, suspended in 0.01M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 7.0), and adjusted to 0.6 optical density at 600 nm (approximately 1 × 108 CFU/ml). Five- to six-week old plants were spray-inoculated until run-off, incubated in a humidity chamber for 48 h, and then placed in a greenhouse at 20 to 25°C for symptom development. For negative and positive control treatments, a similar number of plants each were sprayed with sterile buffer or P. cannabina pv. alisalensis strains CFBP1637 and CFBP 6866PT, respectively. Water-soaked and brown/tan lesions similar to the original symptoms appeared on plants inoculated with the arugula isolates and P. cannabina pv. alisalensis strains 7 to 14 days postinoculation. No symptoms developed on plants treated with sterile buffer. The bacterial strains re-isolated from surface-disinfested symptomatic tissue were identical by rep-PCR to the isolates used to inoculate the plants, thus, confirming Koch's postulates. Identical replicated experiments conducted on broccoli raab indicated that the arugula isolates were also pathogens of broccoli raab (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa, the original host from which P. cannabina pv. alisalensis was isolated). To our knowledge, this is the first report of bacterial blight of crucifers caused by P. cannabina pv. alisalensis in Minnesota. Arugula germplasm is being evaluated for resistance to this pathogen as an acceptable management method for organic cropping systems.
References: (1) C. T. Bull et al. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 33:105, 2010. (2) R. A. Lelliott. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 29:470, 1966.