Plant Disease (2002) 86, 1031-1035

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P.M. Michener, J.K. Pataky and D.G. White (2002)
Rates of transmitting Erwinia stewartii from seed to seedlings of a sweet corn hybrid susceptible to Stewart's wilt
Plant Disease 86 (9), 1031-1035
Abstract: Rates of transmitting Erwinia stewartii from seed to seedlings were estimated from field grow-outs of seedlings grown from seed infected with E. stewartii. Infected seed were produced in 1998, 1999, and 2000 on a Stewart's wilt-susceptible sweet corn hybrid, Jubilee. Seedlings were inoculated repeatedly with pinprick inoculators and suspensions of E. stewartii were injected into ear shanks of the primary ears of each adult plant. Seed from inoculated plants were harvested and bulked. Single kernels were assayed for E. stewartii to estimate the proportion of kernels infected with E. stewartii. Estimates of E. stewartii-infection were 15.6 ± 4.3, 49.4 ± 3.9, and 12.5 ± 2.4% for seed produced in 1998, 1999, and 2000, respectively. Approximately 61,800 seedlings were grown in DeKalb, IL in 1999 and 83,400 and 60,000 seedlings were grown in Plover WI in 2000 and 2001, respectively, from infected seed lots produced the previous year. Approximately 10,000, 12,200, and 29,400 seedlings of susceptible sweet corn hybrids also were grown each year from commercial seed produced in Idaho where Stewart's wilt does not occur. Based on estimates of kernel infection in each seed lot and plant populations in each grow-out trial, about 9,600, 41,200, and 7,500 seedlings were grown from infected kernels in 1999, 2000, and 2001, respectively. Seedlings at the two- to three-leaf stage were examined for symptoms of Stewart's wilt. Infected plants were confirmed by microscopic observations of bacterial ooze and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. When data were combined from all three trials, 59 of approximately 58,300 seedlings grown from infected seed were infected with E. stewartii based on symptoms of Stewart's wilt and E. stewartii-positive leaf tissue samples. Of these 59 seedlings, 22 probably were infected from seed-to-seedling transmission of E. stewartii and 37 probably were the result of natural infection due to the presence of flea beetles in DeKalb in 1999. Twenty-two infected seedlings from 58,300 infected kernels corresponds to a seed-to-seedling transmission rate of 0.038%. This rate of seed-to-seedling transmission of E. stewartii is substantially lower than seed transmission rates reported in the first half of the twentieth century; however, it is similar to seed-to-seedling transmission rates reported from other recent research.
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Database assignments for author(s): Jerald K. Pataky

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
transmission/dispersal of plant diseases

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Pantoea stewartii Maize/corn (Zea mays) U.S.A. (mid N)