European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 155–165 | Cite as

Identification of the causal agent of pistachio dieback in Australia

  • E. Facelli
  • C. Taylor
  • E. Scott
  • M. Fegan
  • G. Huys
  • R. D. Noble
  • J. Swings
  • M. Sedgley
Article

Abstract

Symptoms associated with pistachio dieback in Australia include decline (little or no current season growth), xylem staining in shoots two or more years old, trunk μ and limb lesions (often covered by black, superficial fungal growth), excessive exudation of resin, dieback and death of the tree. Bacteria belonging to the genus Xanthomonas have been suggested as the causal agent. To confirm the constant association between these bacteria and the disease syndrome, the absence of other pathogens and the identity of the pathogen, we performed a series of isolations and pathogenicity tests. The only microorganism consistently isolated from diseased tissue was a bacterium that produced yellow, mucoid colonies and displayed morphological and cultural characteristics typical of the genus Xanthomonas. Database comparisons of the fatty acid and whole-cell protein profiles of five representative pistachio isolates indicated that they all belonged to X. translucens, but it was not possible to allocate the isolates to pathovar. Pathogenicity tests on cereals and grasses supported this identification. However, Koch’s postulates have been only partially fulfilled because not all symptoms associated with pistachio dieback were reproduced on inoculated two-year-old pistachio trees. While discolouration was observed, dieback, excessive resinous exudate and trunk and limb lesions were not produced; expression of these symptoms may be delayed, and long-term monitoring of a small number of inoculated trees is in progress.

Keywords

fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) analysis rep-PCR whole-cell protein profiling Xanthomonastranslucens 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Facelli
    • 1
  • C. Taylor
    • 2
  • E. Scott
    • 1
  • M. Fegan
    • 3
  • G. Huys
    • 4
  • R. D. Noble
    • 5
  • J. Swings
    • 4
  • M. Sedgley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Agriculture and WineUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Primary Industries VictoriaMilduraAustralia
  3. 3.CRC for Tropical Plant Protection, Department of Microbiology and ParasitologyThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  4. 4.Laboratory of MicrobiologyGhent UniversityGentBelgium
  5. 5.NSW AgricultureOrange Agricultural InstituteNew South WalesAustralia

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