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Persistence of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vignicola in weeds and crop debris and identification of Sphenostylis stenocarpa as a potential new host

Abstract

The survival of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vignicola, incitant of cowpea bacterial blight and pustule, in residues of infested cowpea leaves was studied in the field in the forest savanna transition zone of South Benin and under variable controlled conditions. The pathogen survived for up to 60 days when placed on the soil surface, and up to 45 days buried at depths of 10 and 20 cm. In the glasshouse, bacteria survived in residue mixed with soil for at least 2 months in dry soil and less than 2 months in moist soil. The pathogen survived at least 30 days in the field after spray-inoculation on the weed species Euphorbia heterophylla, Digitaria horizontalis and Synedrella nodiflora; 20 days on Panicum subalbidum; 10 days on Euphorbia hirta; and 5 days on Talinum triangulare. After leaf-infiltration under glasshouse conditions, the pathogen was detected after 90 days in D. horizontalis; 75 days in T. triangulare, P. subalbidum and S. nodiflora; 60 days in E. hirta, and 30 days in E. heterophylla. Among 12 legume species tested as alternative hosts of X. axonopodis pv. vignicola, only Sphenostylis stenocarpa (African yam bean) showed typical symptoms of cowpea bacterial blight in a glasshouse experiment following artificial inoculation. This is the first time this legume species has been identified as a potential host of X. axonopodis pv.vignicola. Crop residue and weeds are likely sources of primary inoculum when planting two consecutive cowpea crops per year and they probably play a role in dissemination of the pathogen during the cropping season. The alternate host may form a bridge for primary inoculum between cropping seasons.

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Sikirou, R., Wydra, K. Persistence of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vignicola in weeds and crop debris and identification of Sphenostylis stenocarpa as a potential new host. European Journal of Plant Pathology 110, 939–947 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-004-8949-9

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  • plant debris
  • Sphenostylis stenocarpa
  • weeds