Hydroponically cultivated cucumber plants with characteristic symptoms of crazy root disease were found in two different commercial production cucumber greenhouses in Poland. Due to excessive and inappropriate root growth, this disease led to a reduction in yield and deterioration of the general conditions of infected plants. Bacteria isolated from the roots were subjected to a morphological evaluation, as well as molecular, biochemical, and pathogenicity tests.
To identify the bacteria causing the disease, Agrobacterium-like colonies were subjected to PCR with primers complementary to the pathogenicity-related genes located on the crazy root-inducing plasmid (Ri-plasmid): the virD2A + virD2E primers complementary to the virD2 gene and the rolBF + rolBR primers complementary to the rolB gene. The pathogenicity of the isolated strains was studied in sunflowers and cucumbers.
Twelve strains positive for the Ri plasmid, as determined by PCR, and pathogenic to sunflowers were identified based on sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA and recA genes. One strain was classified as belonging to the genus Pararhizobium, three to Rhizobium, and eight to Agrobacterium biovar 1, with the highest similarity to genomospecies G3. The results of the analyses suggest that these strains may belong to a new, thus far, undescribed species. To confirm this hypothesis, further phylogenetic studies are required.
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Warabieda, Michał & Mikiciński, Artur & Oleszczak, Marcin & Puławska, Joanna. (2021). Identification of the causal agents of crazy root disease on hydroponically cultivated cucumber plants in Poland. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 10.1007/s10658-021-02340-6.