Summary: Aerobic, heterotrophic, mesophilic bacteria were isolated from olive leaves in January, April, July and October in each of three consecutive years. Phenetic data on the isolates and marker strains were collected and analysed using numerical taxonomic methods: 1744 of the 1789 isolates were recovered in phena that were equated with (67·86% of the isolates), (8·50%), (4·02%), (3·63%), the group (3·35%), (2·07%), (1·45%), (1·40%), (1·34%), (1·23%), (1·12%), (1·06%), (0·34%) and (0·11%). There were characteristic seasonal fluctuations in the populations of most of the bacteria. The abundance of on healthy leaves in April and October supports earlier suggestions that the phylloplane of the host may be an important source of readily available inoculum in the epidemiology of olive knot disease.


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