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Xanthomonas is a genus of Proteobacteria, many of which cause plant diseases.


The Xanthomonas genus has been subject of numerous taxonomic and phylogenetic studies and was first described as Bacterium vesicatorium as a pathogen of pepper and tomato in 1921.[1] Dowson [2] later reclassified the bacterium as Xanthomonas campestris and proposed the genus Xanthomonas.[3] Xanthomonas was first described as a monotypic genus and further research resulted in the division into two groups, A and B.[4][5] Later work using DNA:DNA hybridization has served as a framework for the general Xanthomonas species classification.[6][7] Other tools, including multilocus sequence analysis and amplified fragment-length polymorphism, have been used for classification within clades.[8][9] While previous research has illustrated the complexity of the Xanthomonas genus, recent research appears to have resulted in a clearer picture. More recently, genome-wide analysis of multiple Xanthomonas strains mostly supports the previous phylogenies.[10]

Morphology and growth[edit]

Individual cell characteristics include:

  • Cell type - straight rods
  • Size - 0.4 - 1.0 µm wide by 1.2 - 3.0 µm long
  • Motility - motile by a single polar flagellum

Colony growth characteristics include:

  • Mucoid, convex, and yellow colonies on YDC medium [11]
  • Yellow pigment from xanthomonadin, which contains bromine
  • Most produce large amounts of extracellular polysaccharide
  • Temperature range - 4 to 37°C

Biochemical and physiological test results are:

Xanthomonas plant pathogens[edit]

Xanthomonas species can cause bacterial spots and blights of leaves, stems, and fruits on a wide variety of plant species: [12] Pathogenic species show high degrees of specificity and some are split into multiple pathovars, a species designation based on host specificity.

Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri is an economically important disease of many citrus species (lime, orange, lemon, pamelo, etc.)[10]

Bacterial leaf spot has caused significant crop losses over the years. Causes of this disease include Xanthomonas euvesicatoria and Xanthomonas perforans = [Xanthomonas axonopodis (syn. campestris) pv. vesicatoria], Xanthomonas vesicatoria, and Xanthomonas gardneri. In some areas where infection begins soon after transplanting, the total crop can be lost as a result of this disease.[13]

Bacterial blight of rice, caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, is a disease found worldwide and particularly destructive in the rice-producing regions in Asia.[14]

Plant pathogenesis and disease control[edit]

Xanthomonas species can be easily spread in water, movement of infected material such as seed or propagation plants, and by mechanical means such as infected pruning tools. Upon contact with a susceptible host, bacteria enter through wounds or natural plant openings as a means to infect.[13] They inject a number of effector proteins, including TAL effectors, into the plant by their secretion systems (i.e., type III secretion system).

To prevent infections, limiting the introduction of the bacteria is key. Some resistant cultivars of certain plant species are available as this may be the most economical means for controlling this disease. For chemical control, preventative applications are best to reduce the potential for bacterial development. Copper-containing products offer some protection along with field-grade antibiotics such as oxytetracycline, which is labeled for use on some food crops in the United States. Curative applications of chemical pesticides may slow or reduce the spread of the bacterium, but will not cure already diseased plants.[15] It is important to consult chemical pesticide labels when attempting to control bacterial diseases, as different Xanthomonas species can have different responses to these applications. Over-reliance on chemical control methods can also result in the selection of resistant isolates, so these applications should be considered a last resort.

Industrial use[edit]

Xanthomonas species produce an extrapolysaccharide called xanthan gum that has a wide range of industrial uses, including foods, petroleum products, and cosmetics.

Xanthomonas resources[edit]

Isolates of most species of Xanthomonas are available from the National Collection of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria in the United Kingdom and other international culture collections such as ICMP in New Zealand, CFBP in France, and VKM in Russia. It also can be taken out from MTCC India.

Multiple genomes of Xanthomonas have been sequenced and additional data sets/tools are available at The Xanthomonas Resource:.[16]


  1. ^ Doidge, E.M. (1921). "A tomato canker". Annual Review of Applied Biology 7: 407–30. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7348.1921.tb05528.x. 
  2. ^ Dowson, W.J. (1939). "On the systematic position and generic names of the Gram-negative bacterial plant pathogens". Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infektionskrankheiten und Hygiene.: 177–193. 
  3. ^ Dye, D.W. (1978). "A Proposed Nomenclature and Classification for Plant Pathogenic Bacteria.". N Z J Agric Res: 153–177. 
  4. ^ Stall, R.E., Beaulieu, C., Egel, D.S. (1994). "Two genetically diverse groups of strains are included in Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria". Int J Syst Bacteriol 44: 47–53. doi:10.1099/00207713-44-1-47. 
  5. ^ Vauterin, L., Swings, J, Kersters, K.; et al. (1990). "Towards an improved taxonomy of Xanthomonas". Int J Syst Bacteriol 40: 312–316. doi:10.1099/00207713-40-3-312. 
  6. ^ Rademaker, J.L.W., Louws, F.J., and Schultz, M.H. (2005). "A comprehensive species to strain taxonomic framework for Xanthomonas". Phytopathology 95: 1098–1111. doi:10.1094/phyto-95-1098. 
  7. ^ Vauterin, L., Hoste, B., Kersters, K., and Swings, J. (1995). "Reclassification of Xanthomonas". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 45: 472–489. doi:10.1099/00207713-45-3-472. 
  8. ^ Ah-You, N. Gagnevin, L., Grimont, PAD; et al. (2009). "Polyphasic characterization of xanthomonads pathogenic to members of the Anacardiaceae and their relatedness to species of Xanthomonas.". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 59: 306–318. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65453-0. 
  9. ^ Young, J.M., Wilkie, J.P., Park, D.S., Watson, D.R.W. (2010). "New Zealand strains of plant pathogenic bacteria classified by multi-locus sequence analysis; proposal of Xanthomonas dyei sp. nov.". Plant Pathol 59: 270–281. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3059.2009.02210.x. 
  10. ^ a b Rodriguez-R LM, Grajales A, Arrieta-Ortiz ML, Salazar C, Restrepo S, Bernal A. (2012). "Genomes-based phylogeny of the genus Xanthomonas". BMC Microbiology 12: 43. doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-43. 
  11. ^ a b c Schaad, N.W., Jones, J.B., Chun, W. (2001). "Laboratory Guide for Identification of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria 3rd Ed.". pp. 175–199. 
  12. ^ Boch J, Bonas U (September 2010). "XanthomonasAvrBs3 Family-Type III Effectors: Discovery and Function". Annual Review of Phytopathology 48: 419–36. doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-080508-081936. PMID 19400638. 
  13. ^ a b Ritchie, D.F (2000). "Bacterial spot of pepper and tomato". The Plant Health Instructor. doi:10.1094/PHI-I-2000-1027-01. 
  14. ^ Mew, T.W., Alvarez, A.M., Leach, J.E., and Swings, J. (1993). "Focus on bacterial blight of rice". Plant Disease 77: 5–13. doi:10.1094/pd-77-0005. 
  15. ^ Ellis, S.D., Boehm, M.J., and Coplin, D. (2008). "Bacterial Diseases of Plants". Ohio State University Fact Sheet. 
  16. ^ The Xanthomonas Resource 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthomonas — Please support Wikipedia.
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1159 news items


Tue, 29 Sep 2015 03:18:45 -0700

Growers of strawberries and strawberry planting material are terrified of the quarantine organism Xanthomonas fragariae. If the bacterium is found, the affected parcel of land has to be partially or even fully cleared. Commissioned by trade association ...


Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:07:30 -0700

Aardbeientelers en aardbeienvermeerderaars gruwen van het quarantaine-organisme Xanthomonas fragariae. Wordt deze bacterie aangetroffen, dan moet een perceel deels of zelfs volledig geruimd worden. Wageningen UR onderzocht in opdracht van ...


Agriholland (persbericht)
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 01:03:45 -0700

De door aardbeientelers en -vermeerderaars gevreesde Xanthomonas-bacterie verspreidt zich via grote druppels hooguit enkele meters. Maar zodra de bacteriën via minuscule waterdeeltjes in de lucht terechtkomen, kunnen ze heel makkelijk door de wind ...

Kokomo Perspective

Kokomo Perspective
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 01:03:45 -0700

Purdue University's Management of Bacterial Spot of Tomato Caused by Diverse Xanthomonas spp. Isolates project has been awarded $67,037.55. Their goal is to lessen the severity of bacterial spot in Indiana by 10 percent. Surveys will be conducted to ...
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 07:02:04 -0700

They were also associated with reduced levels of lower abundance taxa (that is, <0.1%) such as the classes Bacilli, Methanobacteria and Mollicutes, the genera Streptomyces and Xanthomonas and species Dorea formicigenerans, Gemmata obscuriglobus, ...

Asian Scientist Magazine

Asian Scientist Magazine
Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:51:38 -0700

They have previously shown that Xanthomonas campestris, a causal agent of black rot on cabbage, inject a protein called AvrAC to assist infection. AvrAC does so by adding a nucleotide to a plant protein called BIK1, thereby inhibiting a host process ...
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:56:15 -0700

Beim Kohl seien die Erträge ebenfalls schlechter als im Jahr davor. Hinzu kommt, ergänzt Coenen, dass wohl aufgrund der Nässe im Juli das Bakterium "Xanthomonas" den Weißkohl befallen und für Schädigungen an den Pflanzen gesorgt habe. Quelle: RP ...
Digital Journal
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 13:01:08 -0700

Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/10/2015 -- Xanthan, popularly known as xanthan gum, a polysaccharide synthesized and secreted by a bacterium, Xanthomonas campestris, is commonly used as a rheology modifier and food additive. It performs the function of ...

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