FIRST REPORT OF BACTERIAL PITH SOFT ROT CAUSED BY PECTOBACTERIUM CAROTOVORUM subsp BRASILIENSE ON ARTICHOKE IN ITALY
C. Cariddi, G. Bubici
A severe soft rot disease was observed in some commercial artichoke crops (F1-hybrid cultivars) during 2014 in the Bari, Foggia (Apulia, Southern Italy) and Matera (Basilicata, Southern Italy) provinces. Symptoms were chlorosis and wilting of the older leaves accompanied by dark-green to dark-brown soft rotting of the pith. Several bacterial isolates were obtained from affected plants by culturing on semi-selective crystal violet pectate agar medium. Biochemical, physiological and molecular analyses and pathogenicity tests, performed using five selected isolates, identified three of them as Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliense. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a bacterial soft rot caused by P. carotovorum subsp. brasiliense in Italy and the first finding of this bacterial subspecies on artichoke.