Bacterial wilt of dry beans caused by Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens: a new threat from an old enemy.
Bacterial wilt and tan spot of dry beans (family Fabaceae), caused by Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens, is an important emerging disease threatening the edible legume industry around the globe. The management of bacterial wilt has been a major problem since its original description in 1922. This is in part due to the seedborne nature of the pathogen allowing the bacterium to be transmitted long distances via infected seeds, as well as a lack of detailed molecular information concerning the pathogenicity repertoires and virulence determinates of the pathogen. Identification can also be difficult owing to the presence of five different colony colour variants (i.e., yellow, orange, pink, purple, and red) on culture media. In this review, we provide an overview of the aetiology, epidemiology, and management strategies of bacterial wilt disease. First, a comprehensive and comparative symptomology of the disease on different dry bean species is described. Then, the taxonomic history of the causal agent and utility of high-throughput sequencing-based approaches in the precise characterization of the pathogen is explained. Furthermore, we provide an updated outline on the global distribution of the pathogen, highlighting expansion of the causal agent into the areas with no history of the disease until the beginning of the current century. Finally, because there are limited options for use of conventional pesticides against the pathogen, we highlight the use of integrated pest management strategies, for example quarantine inspections, resistant cultivars, and crop sanitation, to combat the risk of bacterial wilt disease in the dry bean industry.