Molecular characterization of Acidovorax citrulli strain NIHHS15-280 causing bacterial fruit blotch disease in Korea and screening of resistance sources in melon

  • Md. Rafiqul Islam
  • Mohammad Rashed Hossain
  • Hoy-Taek Kim
  • Ujjal Kumar Nath
  • Md. Abuyusuf
  • Hee-Jeong Jung
  • Jong-In Park
  • Ill-Sup NouEmail author
Research Report


Bacterial fruit blotch (BFB), caused by Acidovorax citrulli, is an economically devastating disease in melon. Molecular characterization of causal strains and identification of sources of resistance are necessary to control this important disease. Many strains of BFB were identified by partial sequencing and documented in GenBank. Recently, there was an outbreak of BFB strain NIHHS15-280 in melon fields (Goksung, Jeonnam, Korea) that severely hampered melon production in Korea. For this reason, we characterized NIHHS15-280 by partially sequencing the 16S rRNA gene using PCR-based markers. The partial sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of NIHHS15-280 was much more similar to A. citrulli strains associated with melon and watermelon hosts than other cucurbit hosts. A PCR-based assay identified the strain (NIHHS15-280) as belonging to A. citrulli group I, which predominantly infects non-watermelon cucurbits (virulent to melon). Thirty-five melon genotypes were screened against NIHHS15-280 in a detached-leaf inoculation assay. The lack of visible disease symptoms 11 days after inoculation in lines PI353814 and PI140471 indicated these to be highly resistant lines, whereas moderate resistance was observed in lines PI420145 and SCNU1154 and cultivars ME6 and ME5. Also, the most resistant lines were corroborated by a fruit inoculation assay. The characterized A. citrulli strain NIHHS15-280 (group I) and identified resistant lines will serve as a valuable resource for further genetic studies and improvement of BFB resistance in melon.


16S rRNA gene Acidovorax citrulli Bacterial fruit blotch Melon Multivariate analysis Partial sequencing 



This study was supported by the Center for Horticultural Seed Development (Golden Seed Grant Number: 213007-05-3-CG100) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in the Republic of Korea (MAFRA). We thank the Korean Agriculture Culture Collection (KACC), National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science (NIHHS), South Korea; the International Collection of Microorganisms from Plants (ICMP), New Zealand; and the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK, for providing bacterial strains.

Author contributions

MRI prepared and cultured the samples, isolated DNA, performed wet lab experiments, analyzed the data, interpreted the results, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. UKN and HJJ assisted in sequence analysis and PCR-based assays. MA assisted in wet lab experiments and in preparing the tables and figures. MRH extensively revised and finalized the manuscript. ISN, JIP, HTK, and MRH conceived the project and designed the study. All authors read and approved the final draft of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 141 kb)
13580_2019_190_MOESM2_ESM.pptx (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (PPTX 1126 kb)


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md. Rafiqul Islam
    • 1
  • Mohammad Rashed Hossain
    • 1
  • Hoy-Taek Kim
    • 1
  • Ujjal Kumar Nath
    • 1
  • Md. Abuyusuf
    • 1
  • Hee-Jeong Jung
    • 1
  • Jong-In Park
    • 1
  • Ill-Sup Nou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureSunchon National UniversitySuncheonRepublic of Korea

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