Update on the situation of Acidovorax citrulli in Greece with findings on tomato
Acidovorax citrulli (EPPO A1 List) is the causal agent of bacterial fruit blotch disease of cucurbits. In Greece, it was first detected causing fruit blotch in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) in 2005 and further outbreaks were then detected in 2006 and 2008 (EPPO RS 2009/216). In a recent scientific article, Malliarakis et al. (2020) report the detection of A. citrulli in symptomatic tomato seedlings (Solanum lycopersicum) in two transplant houses in June 2019 and April 2020. Tomato leaves presented necrotic black spots, often with chlorotic haloes. Economic losses were considered to be serious as 20-30% of seedlings were diseased. A. citrulli had previously been detected on tomato and eggplant (S. melongena) in Israel (Chalupowicz et al., 2020). The NPPO of Greece recently informed the EPPO Secretariat that in watermelon cultivation, only sporadic infections have been reported. It also added that the finding on tomato occurred in the regional unit of Imathia (region of Central Macedonia), and that all tomato seedlings were destroyed. Tracing back studies are being conducted to identify the origin of this outbreak. The NPPO of Greece considers that A. citrulli is transient.
The pest status of Acidovorax citrulli in Greece is officially declared as: Transient, few occurrences.
NPPO of Greece (2021-01).
Malliarakis D, Mpalantinaki E, Pagoulatou MG, Lorenzou K, Goumas DE (2020) First report of Acidovorax citrulli causing a leaf spot disease on tomato plants in Greece. Journal of Plant Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42161-020-00677-1
Chalupowicz L, Reuven M, Dror O, Sela N, Burdman S, Manulis-Sasson S (2020) Characterization of Acidovorax citrulli strains isolated from solanaceous plants. Plant Pathology 69(9), 1787–1797. https://doi.org/10.1111/ppa.13239