Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2011
Publication Date: 6/23/2011
Citation: Medrano, E.G., Esquivel, J.F., Bell, A.A. 2011. Transmission of the opportunistic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) boll pathogen Pantoea agglomerans by the brown stink bug (Euschistus servus Say). Phytopathology. 101:S119.
Technical Abstract: Damage to developing cotton bolls by piercing-sucking insects such as stink bugs has traditionally been attributed solely to pest feeding. Previously, we showed clear differences in severity of boll damage resulting from southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula L.) fed sterile food compared to those fed food contaminated with a rifampicin (Rif) resistant, opportunistic Pantoea agglomerans strain (Sc 1-R). Insects not exposed to Sc 1-R caused localized wounding at the feeding site, whereas seed and lint necrosis occurred in bolls pierced by bugs infected with Sc 1-R. Euschistus servus (Say), the brown stink bug (BSB), is another key pest of cotton. Here, we examined whether adult BSB could vector Sc 1-R. Sterilized green beans were dipped in either sterile H20 or a suspension of Sc 1-R. Next, BSB were provided either of the food sources (2-d), and then sterile beans (5-d). BSB were then caged with a greenhouse boll at 2 weeks post-anthesis (5-d). Bolls were examined 2 weeks later. No disease was evident in bolls with wounds caused by control BSB; yet bacteria were detected from respective seed and lint tissue on non-selective media (104 cfu/g) and no growth on Rif amended media. Disease was observed in bolls probed by Sc 1-R contaminated BSB with concentration reaching 103 cfu/g tissue on Rif media. These data demonstrated that the BSB is a capable vector of P. agglomerans strain Sc 1-R.