Ten nonfluorescent strains isolated from water-soaked lesions on cotyledons of plants of five (watermelon) plant introductions were characterized and compared phenotypically with 22 other pseudomonads. The strains were distinguished phenotypically from other known plant pathogenic pseudomonads. The watermelon bacterium was aerobic. Cells were rod-shaped, gram negative, and motile by means of a single polar flagellum. They were nonfluorescent and grew at 41°C but not at 4°C. Oxidase production and the 2-ketogluconate reaction were positive. The 10 strains utilized β-alanine, L-leucine, D-serine, -propanal, ethanol, ethanolamine, citrate, and fructose for growth. No growth occurred with sucrose or glucose. Their deoxyribonucleic acid base composition was 66 ± 1 mol% guanine plus cytosine. The bacterium is phenotypically similar to but differs from it in being pathogenic to watermelon, (cantaloupe), (cucumber), and (squash). The name subsp. is proposed for the new subspecies, of which strain C-42 (= ATCC 29625) is the type strain.


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