Characterization of bacterial knot disease caused by Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi on pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) trees: a new host of the pathogen.
This study aimed to isolate and identify the causal organism causing hyperplastic outgrowths (knots) on stems and branches of pomegranate trees in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey. Bacterial colonies were isolated from young knots on plates containing selective nutrient media. Biochemical tests, fatty acid analysis and PCR were performed to identify possible causal disease agent. Representative isolates were identified as Pseudomonas pv. savastanoi (Psv) using biochemical tests, fatty acid profiling and PCR. Following inoculation of pomegranate plants (cv. hicaz) with bacterial suspensions, 25 of 54 bacterial isolates caused typical knots at the site of inoculation. PCR analysis, using specific primer for Psv, generated a single amplicon from all isolates. The similarity of the sequence of Turkish pomegranate isolate was 99% similar to the corresponding gene sequences of Psv in the databases. Based on symptoms, biochemical, molecular, pathogenicity tests and sequence analyses, the disease agent of knots observed on the pomegranate trees is Psv. To the best of our knowledge, this research has revealed pomegranate as a natural host of Psv, which extends the list of host plant species affected by the pathogen in the world and Turkey.