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Plant Sciences and Entomology


Bacterial wilt is a vascular wilt disease caused by Xanthomonas translucens pv. poae that infects Poa annua, a grass that is commonly found on golf course greens throughout the world. Bacterial wilt causes symptoms of etiolation, wilting, and foliar necrosis. The damage is most prevalent during the summer and the pathogen can kill turf under conditions optimal for disease development. Fifteen isolates of X. translucens pv. poae were collected from northern regions in the United States and tested for virulence against P. annua. All 15 isolates were pathogenic on P. annua, but demonstrated variable levels of virulence when inoculated onto P. annua under greenhouse conditions. The isolates were divided into two virulence groups. The first group containing four isolates generally resulted in less than 40% mortality following inoculation. The second group, containing the other eleven isolates, produced between 90 and 100% mortality following inoculation. These results suggest that differences in the virulence of bacterial populations present on a golf course may result in more or less severe amounts of observed disease.

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