Factors affecting survival of Clavibacter michiganesis subsp. sepedonicus in water

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    The survival of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus (Cms), the causal organism of bacterial ring rot in potato, was studied in water, to assess the risks for dissemination of Cms via surface water and infection of potato crops by irrigation. Cms was able to survive for a maximum period of 7 days in non-sterile surface water at 10°C, a period during which Cms can be transported over long distances, but will also be strongly diluted. It is concluded that contamination of surface water with Cms can pose a threat on potato production only if aquatic host plants can multiply Cms in high densities. Survival of a fluidal and non-mucoid strain was also studied in sterile ditch water and simulated 'drainage water', in sterile MilliQ water, in tap water, in physiological salt and in artificial xylem fluid. In addition, the influence of temperature and low oxygen conditions on persistence of Cms in some of these diluents was studied. A maximum survival period of 35 days was found for Cms in sterile tap water at 20°C, independent of the strain used. In the other diluents survival periods ranged between 0 and 21 days. Relatively poor survival was found in MilliQ water and artificial xylem fluid. Low temperatures of 4°C do not favour survival as it does in soil. Oxygen depletion affected survival detrimentally. Survival periods determined by agar dilution plating and a direct viable counting method, based on the use of indicators for esterase activity and membrane integrity were similar. Therefore, it was concluded that under the experimental conditions studied, Cms did not form cells in a viable but non-culturable state
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-168
    JournalJournal of Phytopathology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • bacterial ring rot
    • corynebacterium-sepedonicum
    • contaminated surfaces
    • nonculturable state
    • flow-cytometry
    • soil
    • resuscitation
    • starvation
    • resistance
    • viability


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