Comparative behavior of Ralstonia solanacearum biovar 2 in diverse plant species
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Ralstonia solanacearum causes bacterial wilt in numerous plant species worldwide. Although biovar 2 mostly affects solanaceous crops, identification of new hosts remains a matter of concern since there is still no clear-cut distinction between host and nonhost plants. In this work we provide data based on histological studies on the status of 20 plant species, most of them of potential interest in crop rotation. Plants were watered with a P-glucuronidase-expressing derivative of R. solanacearum biovar 2, and after a month of incubation, sections of roots and stems were analyzed to localize the pathogen on surface, in cortex and/or xylem. Depending on whether the xylem was colonized or not, plants were classified as hosts or nonhosts, respectively. Hosts generally affected in a few xylem vessels or occasionally in all xylem bundles were classified as tolerant. These included some cabbage, kidney bean, and rutabaga cultivars, and the weed bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara). Nonhosts were the cultivars tested of alfalfa, barley, black radish, carrot, celery, colocynth, fennel, fiber flax, field bean, field pea, horseradish, maize, and zucchini. However, barley and maize, though nonhosts, may act as reservoirs for the pathogen. The present work constitutes a basis for further studies on cropping systems in fields where R. solanacearum has been detected.