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First Report of Bacterial Leaf Spot Caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata on Swiss Chard, Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, in Arizona

    Authors and Affiliations
    • M. Nampijja
    • M. L. Derie
    • L. J. du Toit
    1. Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, Mount Vernon, WA 98273

    Arizona is an important region of the United States for winter production of baby leaf crops such as spinach (Spinacia oleracea), table beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Condivita Group), and Swiss chard (B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Cicla Group). In the winter of 2019, severe leaf spots were observed at 80% incidence and 40% severity per plant in a 1-ha baby leaf Swiss chard crop of an unknown cultivar in Arizona. The lesions were circular to irregular, necrotic, water-soaked, and 1 to 5 mm in diameter. Symptomatic leaf sections (1 cm2) were surface sterilized with 0.6% NaOCl, rinsed, and macerated in sterilized, deionized water. An aliquot of each macerate was streaked onto King’s B agar medium. Cream-colored colonies typical of Pseudomonas were isolated consistently, and all were nonfluorescent. A dozen isolates selected randomly were all negative for potato soft rot, oxidase, and arginine dihydrolase and positive for levan production and tobacco hypersensitivity, which is typical of fluorescent P. syringae isolates but can also include nonfluorescent strains (Lelliott et al. 1966). Three isolates were tested for pathogenicity on the table beet cultivar Red Ace and Swiss chard cultivar Silverado. Strain Pap009 of P. syringae pv. aptata (Psa), demonstrated previously to be pathogenic on Swiss chard and table beet, served as a positive control strain (Derie et al. 2016; Safni et al. 2016). Each isolate was grown in medium 523 broth on a shaker at 175 rpm overnight at 25°C, adjusted to an optical density of 0.3 at 600 nm (108 CFU/ml), and diluted in 0.0125 M phosphate buffer to 107 CFU/ml. Thirty-day-old seedlings grown in Redi-Earth Plug and Seedling Mix in a greenhouse at 22 to 26°C were inoculated by rubbing the abaxial and adaxial leaf surfaces of each plant with a cotton swab dipped in inoculum to which Carborundum had been added (0.06 g/10 ml). The negative control plants were treated similarly with phosphate buffer with Carborundum. The experiment was set up as a randomized complete block design with four replications per treatment and six seedlings per experimental unit. The trial was repeated. In both trials, leaf spots resembling those on the original plants developed on all table beet and Swiss chard plants inoculated with the Arizona isolates and Pap009 but not on negative control plants. Disease severity was greater on Swiss chard (average 39% leaf area with spots) than on table beet (14%). Reisolates obtained from inoculated seedlings using the same method as the original isolations resembled Psa. Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) was carried out for the original three Arizona isolates and the reisolates using DNA amplified from the housekeeping genes gyrB, rpoD, gapA, and gltA (Hwang et al. 2005; Sarkar and Guttman 2004), and a phylogenetic tree was constructed (Huelsenbeck and Ronquist 2001; Katoh and Standley 2013). Sequence identities of these genes of the Arizona isolates (GenBank accession nos. MW291615 to MW291618 for strain Pap089; MW291619 to MW291622 for Pap095; and MW291623 to MW291626 for Pap096 for gltA, gyrB, rpoD, and gapA, respectively) and the reisolates ranged from 98 to 100% with those of Psa pathotype strain CFBP 1617 in the PAMDB database (Almeida et al. 2010; Altschul et al. 1997). Based on Koch’s postulates, colony characteristics, and MLSA, Psa was the causal agent of leaf spots in the Arizona Swiss chard crop. To our knowledge, this is the first report of bacterial leaf spot on chard in Arizona. The pathogen could have been introduced on infected seed because Psa is readily seedborne and seed transmitted.

    The author(s) declare no conflict of interest.


    The author(s) declare no conflict of interest.