Flower infection of Brassica oleracea with Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris results in high levels of seed infection

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    During seed production, Brassica seed may become infected with Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris after systemic colonization of plants upon leaf infection, or alternatively, after flower infection. Polytunnel experiments were conducted in 2007 and 2008 to study the relative importance of these colonization routes resulting in seed infection. Cauliflower plants (Brassica oleracea) were spray-inoculated at the 8-leaf stage, after formation of cauliflowers or during flowering, at which stage leaves or blossoms were inoculated. Inoculation at all stages resulted in a relatively high percentage of systemic infection; the average estimated infection incidences for stem base and peduncle infections were 16 % and 19 %, respectively. When seed samples were examined by dilution plating for deep-seated infection following hot water treatment, Xcc was detected in 61 % of the 23 seed samples harvested from plants with inoculated flowers. However, symptom development in seedlings raised from the seeds could not be confirmed in a grow-out test under favourable conditions for Xcc infection at a high RH (>95 %) and a relative high temperature (28 °C). Xcc was not detected in 59 seed samples harvested from leaf-inoculated plants with the exception of one sample from plants inoculated at peduncle formation. In a third polytunnel experiment carried out in 2009, the population dynamics of Xcc on inoculated flowers was investigated. Following spray-inoculation of flowers, 52 % of the flowers were infected with Xcc. During development of siliques, infection incidence decreased slowly and at 56 dpi, 20 % of the superficially disinfected siliques were infected with Xcc. It was estimated that 0.18 % of the seeds was infected and that 1–10 % of the infected siliques contained infected seeds. The implications of these results for control of Xcc in a seed production crop are discussed
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-111
    JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • avenae subsp citrulli
    • biological-control
    • watermelon blossoms
    • infestation
    • cabbage
    • colonization
    • transmission
    • atroseptica
    • carotovora
    • field


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