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Description of a new disease on Erythrina sp. in Martinique (French West Indies) and preliminary characterization of the causal agent as a novel Erwinia species

Sutra L., Prior P., Perlemoine K., Risède J.M., Cao Van P., Gardan L.. 1999. Plant Pathology, 48 (2) : p. 253-259.

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3059.1999.00329.x

In spring 1995, symptoms of partial defoliation were observed on Erythrina indica var. fastigiata trees, commonly used as windbreaks in banana plantations in Martinique (French West Indies). Browning of the bark surface was consistently observed at the base of defoliated branches. Bacteria were isolated as nearly pure cultures from typical necrotic lesions on the bark. Results of Gram stain, staining of flagella and biochemical tests indicated that all isolates belonged to the Enterobacteriaceae, and to the genus Erwinia. Numerical analysis of the results of 48 biochemical properties showed that Erwinia isolates from diseased erythrina trees constituted a homogenous phenotypic cluster, and that, although weakly pectolytic, these isolates were closely related to pectolytic Erwinia species : E. carotovora ssp. betavasculorum and ssp. wasabiae, and E. cacticida. However, they could be clearly distinguished by different biochemical characteristics from type strains of known plant pathogenic species of Erwinia, Pantoea and Enterobacter. Under greenhouse conditions, the isolates were pathogenic to Erythrina indica var. fastigiata cuttings, but not to banana and pineapple, which are major crops in Martinique.

Mots-clés : musa; erythrina; erwinia; agent pathogène; défoliation; pouvoir pathogène; taxonomie numérique; martinique; france

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