An unusual postharvest spotting disease of the comercial mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, caused by a novel pathovar of Pseudomonas tolaasii
Dobbin, Christine L.
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An unusual postharvest spotting disease of the commercial mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, which was observed on a commercial mushroom farm in Ontario, was found to be caused by a novel pathovar of Pseudomonas tolaasii. Isolations from the discoloured lesions, on the mushroom pilei, revealed the presence of several different bacterial and fungal genera. The most frequently isolated genus being Pseudomonas bacteria. The most frequently isolated fungal genus was Penicillium. Of the bacteria and fungi assayed for pathogenicity to mushrooms, only Pseudomonas tolaasii was able to reproduce the postharvest spotting symptom. This symptom was typically reproduced 1 to 7 days postharvest, when mushroom pilei were inoculated with 101 to 105 cfu. Of the fungi tested for pathogenicity only a Penicillium sp. and Verticillium fungicola were shown to be pathogenic, however, neither produced the postharvest spotting symptom. The Pseudomonas tolaasii strain isolated from the postharvest lesions differed from a type culture (Pseudomonas tolaasii ATCC 33618) in the symptoms it produced on Agaricus bisporus pilei under the same conditions and at the same inoculum concentration. It was therefore designated a pathovar. This strain also differed from the type culture in its cellular protein profile. Neither the type culture, nor the mushroom pathogen was found to contain plasmid DNA. The presence of plasmid DNA is therefore not responsible for the difference in pathogenicity between the two strains.