Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2005
Publication Date: 10/15/2005
Citation: Bell, A.A., Medrano, E.G., Lopez, J., Esquivel, J.F. 2005. Identification and frequency of cottonseed-rotting bacteria isolated from stink bugs in Texas [abstract]. Phytopathology. 95(6):S8.
Technical Abstract: Stink bugs which frequently cause puncture wounds in young to middle aged cotton bolls were examined for the presence of seed-rotting bacteria. Pantoea spp. were obtained from both the gut and the exterior of southern green stink bugs (SGSB) with similar frequency from the head and thorax compared to the abdomen and legs. Water washings from live stink bugs (2 ml sterile water per insect) frequently contained sufficient bacteria to cause seed rot when a needle puncture into the boll was made through a drop of wash water placed on the surface. The majority of female SGSB collected by black light traps in July, September, and October near cotton fields in the Brazos River Valley in Texas yielded seed-rotting bacteria. Most of the pathogenic bacterial isolates belonged to the Enterobacteriaceae family. Yellow isolates identified as Pantoea spp. had fatty acid profiles most similar to those of Pantoea, Cedecea, or Yersinia, Enterobacter, Kluyvera, or Klebsiella spp. Two species of the Pseudomoniaceae family, Flavimonas oryzihabitants and Pseudomonas pudita, caused seed rot and were found in all three SGSB collections. All of these bacteria caused complete rot of 10- to 14-day-old locules of Deltapine 458 B/RR within 7 days of the introduction through puncture wounds. The presence of seed-rotting bacteria on stink bugs may facilitate the spread and inoculation of bacterial pathogens.