Pathogen Profiles

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Molecular Plant Pathology - Pathogen Profiles


Xanthomonas citri: breaking the surface

Asha M. Brunings and Dean W. Gabriel

Plant Molecular and Cell Biology Program, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA


Taxonomy: Bacteria; Proteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria; Xanthomonadales; Xanthomonadaceae, Xanthomonas.
Microbiological Properties: Gram-negative, obligately aerobic, straight rods, motile by a single polar flagellum, yellow pigment.
Related species: X. campestris, X. axonopodis, X. oryzae, X. albilineans.
Host range: Affects Rutaceous plants, primarily Citrus spp., Fortunella spp., and Poncirus spp., world-wide. Quarantined pathogen in many countries. Economically important hosts are cultivated orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon, pomelo and citrus rootstock.
Disease Symptoms: On leaves, first appearance is as oily looking, 2-10 mm, similarly sized, circular spots, usually on the abaxial surface. On leaves, stems, thorns and fruit, circular lesions become raised and blister-like, growing into white or yellow spongy pustules. These pustules then darken and thicken into a light tan to brown corky canker, which is rough to the touch. On stems, pustules may coalesce to split the epidermis along the stem length, and occasionally girdling of young stems may occur. Older lesions on leaves and fruit tend to have more elevated margins and are at times surrounded by a yellow chlorotic halo (that may disappear) and a sunken centre. Sunken craters are especially noticeable on fruit, but the lesions do not penetrate far into the rind. Defoliation and premature abscission of affected fruit occurs on heavily infected trees.
Useful Websites: http://www.biotech.ufl.edu/PlantContainment/canker.htm http://cancer.lbi.ic.unicamp.br/xanthomonas/


Typical, naturally occurring citrus canker lesions from a relatively heavy infestation,
causing premature leaf and fruit abscission.

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