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Understanding the disease ecology of the corn bacterial leaf streak pathogen Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum




Ortiz Castro, Mary Carmen, author
Leach, Jan, advisor
Broders, Kirk, advisor
Charkowski, Amy, committee member
Schipanski, Meagan, committee member

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Bacterial leaf streak, caused by Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum (Xvv), is an emerging disease of corn in North and South America. Based on the combined $52.4 billion value of the corn industry, early reports of Xvv disease severity, and lack of management methods, this emerging pathogen represents an economic threat to corn production in the United States. The primary goal of this research is to provide a basic understanding of the infection ecology and survival of the corn bacterial leaf streak pathogen. Through genetic transformations of the bacteria with fluorescent proteins and confocal microscopy, we were able to show the localization of the bacteria within plant leaves. In addition, we found that there is a significant interaction between Xvv isolates and two corn varieties. By evaluating the bacterial fitness across representative isolates of Xvv, we showed that 22°C is the optimal temperature for bacterial growth in culture. We also evaluated the interaction of Xvv with the endophyte Pantoea ananatis and found that the presence of the endophyte significantly decreases Xvv's disease response. Finally, through litter studies at multiple locations, we demonstrated that infected residue left on the surface of the soil harbored significantly greater quantities of Xvv than infected residue buried 10 cm below the surface. These findings will be useful to understand the bacterial leaf streak disease cycle and aid in the development of management strategies that may limit the distribution of Xvv within corn fields and prevent its spread to other corn producing regions.


Per patron and Grad school, embargo lifted 2020-02-10. ac.

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bacteria leaf streak


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