The bacteria Xanthomonas penniseti (Rajagopalan and Rangaswami 1958) and Xanthomonas annamalaiensis (Rangaswami et al. 1961a), isolated from diseased pearl millet in India, and Xanthomonas rubrisorghi, isolated from sorghum and pathogenic to pearl millet (Rangaswami et al. 1961b), have been determined to be Erwinia herbicola (Qhobela and Claflin 1988). These bacteria are gram negative, noncapsulated, non-spore-forming, short rods with a single monotrichous polar flagellum. Colonies are dull shiny yellow on nutrient agar, and no soluble pigment is formed. Because standardized inoculation procedures were not used in prior assays, the assumption that Erwinia herbicola is pathogenic to pearl millet should be re-examined (L.E. Claflin, personal communication, 1995). A later report suggests that Pantoea agglomerans (=Erwinia herbicola) is pathogenic to pearl millet in Zimbabwe (Frederickson et al. 1997).
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Original posting: June 5, 1999.