Dissemination of Goss’s Wilt of Corn and Epiphytic Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis from Inoculum Point Sources

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Eggenberger, Sharon
Diaz-Arias, Mercedes
Gougherty, Andrew
Nutter, Forrest
Sernett, Jeff
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Robertson, Alison
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Plant Pathology and Microbiology
The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and the Department of Entomology officially merged as of September 1, 2022. The new department is known as the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology (PPEM). The overall mission of the Department is to benefit society through research, teaching, and extension activities that improve pest management and prevent disease. Collectively, the Department consists of about 100 faculty, staff, and students who are engaged in research, teaching, and extension activities that are central to the mission of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Department possesses state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities in the Advanced Research and Teaching Building and in Science II. In addition, research and extension activities are performed off-campus at the Field Extension Education Laboratory, the Horticulture Station, the Agriculture Engineering/Agronomy Farm, and several Research and Demonstration Farms located around the state. Furthermore, the Department houses the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, the Iowa Soybean Research Center, the Insect Zoo, and BugGuide. Several USDA-ARS scientists are also affiliated with the Department.
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Goss’s wilt of corn, caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, has reemerged since 2006 as an economically important disease of corn in in the Midwestern United States. In 2012 and 2013, field plot studies were conducted with a pathogenic, rifampicin-resistant C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis isolate and a Goss’s wilt-susceptible corn hybrid to monitor epiphytic C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis population densities and the temporal and spatial spread of Goss’s wilt incidence originating from inoculum point sources. The randomized complete block trial included three treatments: noninoculated control, inoculum point sources established by wound inoculation, and inoculum point sources consisting of C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis-infested corn residue. Epiphytic C. michiganensissubsp. nebraskensis was detected on asymptomatic corn leaves collected up to 2.5 m away from inoculum sources at 15 days after inoculation in both years. The percentage of asymptomatic leaf samples on which epiphytic C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis was detected increased until mid-August in both years, and reached 90, 55, and 35% in wound-, residue-, and noninoculated plots, respectively, in 2012; and 50, 11, and 2%, respectively, in 2013. Although both growing seasons were drier than normal, Goss’s wilt incidence increased over time and space from all C. michiganensissubsp. nebraskensis point sources. Plots infested with C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis residue had final Goss’s wilt incidence of 7.5 and 1.8% in 2012 and 2013, respectively; plots with a wound-inoculated source had final Goss’s wilt incidence of 16.6 and 14.0% in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Our findings suggest that relatively recent outbreaks of Goss’s wilt in new regions of the United States may be the result of a gradual, nondetected buildup of C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensisinoculum in fields.


This article is published as Eggenberger, S., Diaz-Arias, M. M., Gougherty, A. V., Nutter, F. W., Jr., Sernett, J. and Robertson, A. E. 2016. Dissemination of Goss’s wilt of corn and Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis from inoculum point sources. Plant Dis. 100:686-695. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-04-15-0486-RE. Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016