1Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan Iran.
2Jiroft and Kahnouj Agricultural Research Center, Jiroft Iran.
3Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Iran.
Samples of leaf, twig and fruit from ‘Mexican’ lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) with symptoms of bacterial canker were collected from different provinces throughout Iran during spring and summers of 2010 and 2011. Yellow, gram-negative colonies were isolated from infected tissue samples. Results of pathogenicity assays indicated that some isolates incited tissue hyperplasia, hypertrophy and raised callus-like lesions typical of canker in hosts while other isolates stimulated flat necrotic and water-soaked lesions on leaves. Candidate samples of each group were identified according to morphological and physiological characteristics. Detections were also made using specific primers and partial sequencing of 16SrDNA for Pantoea group and gyrB for Xanthomonas group. Results showed that one group was characterized as the typical Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri strain while the other group containing most of the isolates was identified as Pantoea agglomerans. Samplings done frequently in different seasons revealed the presence of high populations of P. agglomerans with bacterial canker, especially in warmer and drier regions. These bacteria were able to incite canker-like symptoms on grapefruit seedlings and could be reisolated after two months.
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