Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Erwinia tracheiphila
(cucurbit bacterial wilt)



Erwinia tracheiphila (cucurbit bacterial wilt)


  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Erwinia tracheiphila
  • Preferred Common Name
  • cucurbit bacterial wilt
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Bacteria
  •   Phylum: Proteobacteria
  •     Class: Gammaproteobacteria
  •       Order: Enterobacteriales
  •         Family: Enterobacteriaceae

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Erwinia tracheiphila (cucurbit bacterial wilt); symptoms of wilt on Cucurbita pepo.
CaptionErwinia tracheiphila (cucurbit bacterial wilt); symptoms of wilt on Cucurbita pepo.
Copyright©Matthew J. Blua
Erwinia tracheiphila (cucurbit bacterial wilt); symptoms of wilt on Cucurbita pepo.
SymptomsErwinia tracheiphila (cucurbit bacterial wilt); symptoms of wilt on Cucurbita pepo.©Matthew J. Blua


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Erwinia tracheiphila (Smith 1895)

Preferred Common Name

  • cucurbit bacterial wilt

Other Scientific Names

  • Bacillus tracheiphilus Smith 1895
  • Bacillus tracheiphilus f.sp. cucumis
  • Bacterium tracheiphilum (Smith) Chester 1897
  • Erwinia amylovora var. tracheiphila (Smith) Dye 1968

International Common Names

  • English: bacterial wilt; bacterial wilt of cucurbits; bacterial: cucurbits wilt; cucurbit vascular wilt; vascular: cucurbits wilt
  • Spanish: marchitez bacteriana de los cucurbitaceas; marchitez vascular de los cucurbitaceas
  • French: fletrissement bacterien des cucurbitacees; fletrissement vasculaire des cucurbitacees

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Bakterielle: Gurke Welke

EPPO code

  • ERWITR (Erwinia tracheiphila)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Bacteria
  •     Phylum: Proteobacteria
  •         Class: Gammaproteobacteria
  •             Order: Enterobacteriales
  •                 Family: Enterobacteriaceae
  •                     Genus: Erwinia
  •                         Species: Erwinia tracheiphila

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent, WidespreadBradbury (1986)
South AfricaPresent, WidespreadBradbury (1986)


ChinaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-JiangsuPresentBradbury (1986)
IranPresentDehghani et al. (2007)
IraqPresent, WidespreadBradbury (1986)
JapanPresentBradbury (1986)
North KoreaPresentBradbury (1986)
South KoreaPresentBradbury (1986)
TaiwanPresent, WidespreadBradbury (1986)
ThailandPresent, WidespreadBradbury (1986)


CzechoslovakiaPresentBradbury (1986)
LithuaniaPresent, LocalizedBradbury (1986)

North America

CanadaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-AlbertaPresentBradbury (1986)
-ManitobaPresentBradbury (1986)
-Nova ScotiaPresentBradbury (1986)
-OntarioPresentBradbury (1986)
-QuebecPresentBradbury (1986)
United StatesPresent, WidespreadBradbury (1986)
-AlabamaPresentZehnder et al. (2000)
-New MexicoPresentSanogo et al. (2011)

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / frass visible
Leaves / wilting
Stems / visible frass
Stems / wilt
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Roots Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
True seeds (inc. grain)


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Bassi A, 1982. The overwintering nature of Erwinia tracheiphila (Smith) and resistance to bacterial wilt in cucumber. PhD thesis. Fayetteville, USA: University of Arkansas.

Blancard D; Lecoq H; Pitrat M, 1994. A Colour Atlas of Cucurbit Diseases: observation, identification and control. London, UK: Manson Publishing Ltd.

Bradbury JF, 1970. Erwinia tracheiphila. CMI descriptions of Plant Pathogenic Fungi and Bacteria, No. 233. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Bradbury JF, 1986. Guide to Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Brust GE, 1997. Differential susceptibility of pumpkins to bacterial wilt related to plant growth stage and cultivar. Crop Protection, 16(5):411-414; 10 ref.

Brust GE, 1997. Seasonal variation in percentage of striped cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) that vector Erwinia tracheiphila. Environmental Entomology, 26(3):580-584; 12 ref.

Brust GE; Foster RE, 1995. Semiochemical-based toxic baits for control of striped cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in cantaloupe. Journal of Economic Entomology, 88(1):112-116

Brust GE; Foster RE, 1999. New economic threshold for striped cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in cantaloupe in the midwest. Journal of Economic Entomology, 92(4):936-940; 16 ref.

Brust GE; Foster RE; Buhler WG, 1996. Comparison of insecticide use programs for managing the striped cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in muskmelon. Journal of Economic Entomology, 89(4):981-986; 14 ref.

Brust GE; Rane KK, 1995. Differential occurrence of bacterial wilt in muskmelon due to preferential striped cucumber beetle feeding. HortScience, 30(5):1043-1045

Burkholder WH, 1960. Some observations on Erwinia tracheiphila, the causal agent of the cucurbit wilt. Phytopathology, 50:179-180.

Dehghani M; Nasseri S; Amin S; Naddafee K; Taghavi M; Yunesian M; Maleky N, 2007. Isolation and identification of atrazine-degrading bacteria from corn field soil in Fars province of Iran. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10(1):84-89.

Dickey RS; Lelliott RA, 1984. Genus VII Erwinia. In: Krieg NR, Hold JG, eds. Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Volume 1. Baltimore, USA: Williams and Wilkins.

Fleischer SJ; Kirk D, 1994. Kairomonal baits: effect on acquisition of a feeding indicator by Diabroticite vectors in cucurbits. Environmental Entomology, 23(5):1138-1149

Fleischer SJ; Orzolek MD; Mackiewicz Dde; Otjen L, 1998. Imidacloprid effects on Acalymma vittata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and bacterial wilt in cantaloupe. Journal of Economic Entomology, 91(4):940-949; 23 ref.

Foster RE, 1994. Insect management strategies. In: Foster RE, ed. Midwest vegetable production guide for commercial growers. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Publication ID-45. Lafayett, USA: Purdue University, 13-15.

Harrison MD; Brewer JW; Merril LD, 1980. Insect involvement in the transmission of bacterial pathogens. In: Harris KF, Maramorosch K, eds. Vectors of plant pathogens. New York, USA: Academic Press, 201-292.

Hauben L; Moore ERB; Vauterin L; Steenakers M; Mergaert J; Verdonck L; Swings J, 1998. Phylogenetic position of phytopathogens within the Enterobacteriaceae. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 21:384-397.

Latin R, 1993. Diseases and Pests of Muskmelons and Watermelons. W. Lafayette, USA: Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

Leach JG, 1964. Observations on cucumber beetles as vectors of cucurbit wilt. Phytopathology, 54:606-607.

Mackiewicz Dde; Gildow FE; Blua M; Fleischer SJ; Lukezic FL, 1998. Herbaceous weeds are not ecologically important reservoirs of Erwinia tracheiphila. Plant Disease, 82(5):521-529; 36 ref.

Necibi S; Barrett BA; Johnson JW, 1992. Effects of a black plastic mulch on the soil and plant dispersal of cucumber beetles, Acalymma vittatum (F.) and Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on melons. Journal of Agricultural Entomology, 9(2):129-135

Pair SD, 1997. Evaluation of systemically treated squash trap plants and attracticidal baits for early-season control of striped and spotted cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and squash bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in cucurbit crops. Journal of Economic Entomology, 90(5):1307-1314; 21 ref.

Rand FV, 1915. Dissemination of bacterial wilt of cucurbits. Journal of Agronomic Research, 5:257-260.

Rand FV; Cash CC, 1920. Some insect relations of Bacillus tracheiphilus, Erw. Sm. Phytopathology, 10:133-140.

Rand FV; Enlows EMA, 1920. Bacterial wilt of cucurbits. USDA Bull. No. 828.

Raupach GS; Kloepper JW, 1998. Mixtures of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria enhance biological control of multiple cucumber pathogens. Phytopathology, 88(11):1158-1164; 47 ref.

Reed DK; Reed GL; Creighton CS, 1986. Introduction of entomogenous nematodes into trickle irrigation systems to control striped cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 79(5):1330-1333

Sanogo S; Etarock BF; Clary M, 2011. First report of bacterial wilt caused by Erwinia tracheiphila on pumpkin and watermelon in New Mexico. Plant Disease, 95(12):1583.

Sherf AF; MacNab AA, 1986. Cucurbits. In: Sherf AF, MacNab AA, eds. Vegetable diseases and their control. New York, USA: Wiley, 307-311.

Walker JC, 1952. Diseases of Vegetable Crops. New York, USA: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.

Watterson JC; Williams PH; Durbin RD, 1971. Response of cucurbits to Erwinia tracheiphila. Plant Disease Reporter, 55:816-819.

Yardim EN; Arancon NQ; Edwards CA; Oliver TJ; Byrne RJ, 2006. Suppression of tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) and cucumber beetles (Acalymma vittatum and Diabotrica undecimpunctata) populations and damage by vermicomposts. Pedobiologia, 50(1):23-29.

Zehnder G; Kloepper J; Tuzun S; Yao C; Wei G; Chambliss O; Shelby R, 1997. Insect feeding on cucumber mediatd by rhizobacteria-inducd plant resistance. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 83:81-85.

Zehnder G; Kloepper J; Yao C; Wei G, 1997. Induction of systemic resistance in cucumber against cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Journal of Economic Entomology, 90:391-396.

Zehnder GW; Yao ChangBin; Wei Gang; Kloepper JW, 2000. Influence of methyl bromide fumigation on microbe-induced resistance in cucumber. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 10(5):687-693.

Distribution Maps

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