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Phytopathology. 2016 Jul;106(7):693-701. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-12-15-0328-R. Epub 2016 May 13.

Bismerthiazol Inhibits Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Growth and Induces Differential Expression of Citrus Defense-Related Genes.

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First and third authors: Nanjing Agriculture University, Nanjing 210095, China; and first, second, and fourth authors: U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Fort Pierce, FL 34945.


Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri, is a serious disease that causes substantial economic losses to the citrus industry worldwide. The bactericide bismerthiazol has been used to control rice bacterial blight (X. oryzae pv. oryzae). In this paper, we demonstrate that bismerthiazol can effectively control citrus canker by both inhibiting the growth of X. citri ssp. citri and triggering the plant's host defense response through the expression of several pathogenesis-related genes (PR1, PR2, CHI, and RpRd1) and the nonexpresser of PR genes (NPR1, NPR2, and NPR3) in 'Duncan' grapefruit, especially at early treatment times. In addition, we found that bismerthiazol induced the expression of the marker genes CitCHS and CitCHI in the flavonoid pathway and the PAL1 (phenylalanine ammonia lyase 1) gene in the salicylic acid (SA) biosynthesis pathway at different time points. Moreover, bismerthiazol also induced the expression of the priming defense-associated gene AZI1. Taken together, these results indicate that the induction of the defense response in 'Duncan' grapefruit by bismerthiazol may involve the SA signaling pathway and the priming defense and that bismerthiazol may serve as an alternative to copper bactericides for the control of citrus canker.

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