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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 246-251

Detection of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in kiwifruit pollen samples

J.L. Vanneste, D. Giovanardi, J. Yu, D.A. Cornish, C. Kay, F. Spinelli and E. Stefani

ABSTRACT

Presence of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa), the causal agent of bacterial canker of kiwifruit, in pollen samples collected from infected and non infected orchards in Italy and in New Zealand was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by direct bacterial isolation. Psa was isolated only from pollen samples collected in Italy, including pollen collected from two uninfected orchards, which the following year showed signs of infection. Psa was also detected in pollen collected from male and female vines in an Italian infected orchard. Pollen samples from Italy, but not from New Zealand, were collected with a vacuum device. Psa could not be isolated from any of the 25 New Zealand pollen samples analysed. This is the first report of Psa being associated with pollen. There is currently no evidence that artificial pollination leads to increased infection or that pollen has been responsible for the introduction of Psa in a previously Psa-free area.

Keywords: bacterial canker of kiwifruit, pollen, artificial pollination, epidemiology, green fluorescent protein, flower infection.

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