Bacterial blight and dieback

Bacterial blight and dieback
Pantoea ananatis, Xanthomonas axonopodis, Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum, Xanthomonas dyei pv. eucalypti

Pantoea ananatis = Erwinia ananas Serrano 1928, Erwinia uredovora (Pon et al. 1954) Dye 1963; Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum = X. vasculorum (Cobb 1894) Dowson 1939, X. campestris pv. vasculorum (Cobb 1894) Dye 1978, Xanthomonas campestris pv. eucalypti (Truman 1974) Dye 1978

Bacterial blight and dieback is a disease of young Eucalyptus trees, either in the nursery or in newly established plantations. Symptoms include water soaked, angular lesions and interveinal necrosis of the leaves which is often concentrated along the main vein or at the edges. Lesions often extend into the petiole and twigs leading to dieback of the young shoots. In the case of Xae in Brazil, severe defoliation was recorded when the conditions were favourable for disease development (Ferraz et al. 2018). Symptoms caused by the various bacterial species appear similar and it is thus impossible to identify the causal agent based solely on symptom expression. Pantoea ananatis and Xvv have been isolated together from the same infected plant (Coutinho et al. 2015).

In the case of P. ananatis and Xvv, younger leaves are more susceptible than older leaves. This is contrary to the case with Xae where older leaves were shown to a have a higher percentage of leaf area with lesions than younger leaves (Neves et al. 2014). Free water on the leaf surface is required for penetration of the bacteria. They enter through natural openings such as hydathodes and stomata, and wounds. The optimal temperature for the development of the disease caused by Xae is between 26°C and 30°C (Neves et al. 2014) and between 20°C and 25°C with high relative humidity in the case of P. ananatis (Coutinho et al. 2002).

Pantoea ananatis – 2002 (Coutinho et al. 2002), X. axonopodis – 2010 (Van der Westhuizen 2010), X. vasicola pv. vasculorum – 2015 (Coutinho et al. 2015)
KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga


Bacterial blight cause by Pantoea ananatis

Coutinho TA, Preisig O, Mergaert J, Cnockaert MC, Riedel K-H, et al. 2002. Bacterial blight and die-back of Eucalyptus species, hybrids and clones in South Africa. Plant Disease 86: 20-25.

Coutinho TA, van der Westhuizen L, Roux J, McFarlane SA, Venter SN. 2015. Significant host jump of Xanthomonas vasicola from sugarcane to a Eucalyptus grandis clone in South Africa. Plant Pathology 64: 576-581.

Ferraz HGM, Babel JL, Guimarães LMS, Reis BP, Tótola MR, et al. 2018. Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. eucalyptorum pv. nov. causing bacterial leaf blight on eucalypt in Brazil. The Plant Pathology Journal 34: 269-285.

Neves DA, Guimarães LMS, Ferraz HGM, Alfenas AC. 2014. Favorable conditons for Xanthomonas axonopodis infection in Eucalyptus spp. Tropical Plant Pathology 39: 428-433.

Truman R. 1974. Die-back of Eucalyptus citriodora caused by Xanthomonas eucalypti sp.n. Phytopathology 64: 143-144.

Van der Westhuizen L. 2010. Pantoea and Xanthomonas species associated with bacterial blight of Eucalyptus. MSc thesis, University of Pretoria.