Ralstonia solanacearum is the causal organism of bacterial wilt of more than 200 species representing 50 families of plants in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions in the world. Traditionally classified into five races based on differences in host range, R. solanacearum has also been grouped into six biovars on the basis of biochemical properties. With recent developments in molecular biology, various DNA-based analyses have been introduced and used to confirm that this binary system does not completely represent the diversity within R. solanacearum strains. Therefore, a new hierarchical classification scheme has been suggested, which defines R. solanacearum as a species complex and reorganized the concept of the species as a monophyletic cluster according to a phylogenetic analysis based on genomic sequence data. Here we discuss the current bacterial wilt situation and genetic relationships based on the recent classification system of Japanese R. solanacearum strains as well as worldwide strains. We also review the genetic, biochemical, and pathological characteristics of R. solanacearum strains, in particular, those affecting potato and Zingiberaceae plants as distinctly important pathogens in relation to continuously problematic and recent emergent diseases in Japan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science