The bacterial leaf-spot of anthurium emerged during the 1980s, in the French West Indies and Trinidad. This new bacterial disease is presently wide spread and constitutes a serious limiting factor for commercial anthurium production. Twenty-nine strains isolated from leaf-spots of naturally infected anthurium were characterized and compared with reference strains belonging to the Comamonadaceae family, the genera Ralstonia and Burkholderia, and representative fluorescent pseudomonads. From artificial inoculations 25 out of 29 strains were pathogenic on anthurium. Biochemical and physiological tests, fatty acid analysis, DNA-DNA hybridization, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, DNA-16S RNA hybridization were performed. The 25 pathogenic strains on anthurium were clustered in one phenon closely related to phytopathogenic strains of the genus Acidovorax. Anthurium strains were 79-99% (deltaTm range 0.2-1.6) related to the strain CFBP 3232 and constituted a discrete DNA homology group indicating that they belong to the same species. DNA-rRNA hybridization, 16S rRNA sequence and fatty acid analysis confirmed that this new species belongs to the beta-subclass of Proteobacteria and to rRNA superfamily III, to the family of Comamonadaceae and to the genus Acidovorax. The name Acidovorax anthurii is proposed for this new phytopathogenic bacterium. The type strain has been deposited in the Collection Française des Bactéries Phytopathogènes as CFBP 3232T.


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