New report of additional enterobacterial species causing wilt in West Bengal, India.
Ralstonia solanacearum is known to be the most prominent causal agent of bacterial wilt worldwide. It has a wide host range comprising solanaceous and nonsolanaceous plants. Typical symptoms of the disease are leaf wilt, browning of vascular tissues, and collapsing of the plant. With the objective of studying the diversity of pathogens causing bacterial wilt in West Bengal, we collected samples of diseased symptomatic crops and adjacent symptomatic and asymptomatic weeds from widespread locations in West Bengal. By means of a routine molecular identification test specific to "R. solanacearum species complex", the majority of these strains (68 out of 71) were found to not be R. solanacearum. Presumptive identification of these isolates with conventional biochemicals, extensive testing of pathogenicity of a subset involving greenhouse trials fulfilling Koch's postulate test, and scanning electron microscopic analysis for the presence of pathogen in diseased plants were done. 16S rDNA sequencing of a subset of these strains (GenBank accession Nos. JX880249-JX880251) and analysis of sequences with the nBLAST programme showed a high similarity (97%-99%) to sequences of the Enterobacteriaceae group available in GenBank. Molecular phylogeny further established the taxonomic position of the strains. The 3 bacterial strain cultures have been submitted to MTCC, Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India, and were identified as Klebsiella oxytoca, Enterobacter cowanii, and Klebsiella oxytoca, respectively. Although Enterobacter sp. has previously been reported to cause wilt in many plants, susceptibility of most of the dedicated hosts of R. solanacearum to wilt caused by Enterobacter and other bacteria from Enterobacteriaceae is being reported for the first time in this work.