Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Phytopathology 107:11 (2017), pp. 1312–1321.

doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-05-17-0168-R


U.S. government work


Bacterial leaf streak of corn (Zea mays) recently reached epidemic levels in three corn-growing states and has been detected in another six states in the central United States. Xanthomonas vasicola was identified as the causal agent of this disease. A multilocus sequence alignment of six housekeeping genes and comparison of average nucleotide identity from draft genome sequence were used to confirm phylogenetic relationships and classification of this bacteria relative to other X. vasicola strains. X. vasicola isolates from Nebraska and South Africa were highly virulent on corn and sugarcane and less virulent on sorghum but caused water-soaking symptoms that are typical of X. vasicola infection on the leaves of all three hosts. Based on host range and phylogenetic comparison, we propose the taxonomic designation of this organism to X. vasicola pv. vasculorum (Cobb 1894) comb. nov. Polymerase chain reaction-based diagnostic assays were developed that distinguish X. vasicola pv. vasculorum and X. vasicola pv. holcicola from each other and from other Xanthomonas spp.