• Two bacterial strains deposited in the NCPPB at the beginning of the XX century as Xanthomonas beticola (tubercle disease) are not pathogenic to sugar beets.
  • They presented stimulatory properties to sugar beets and should be treated as beneficial microorganisms.
  • They showed some properties to protect sugar beets against Rhizoctonia solani.
  • Their taxonomic status is unclear, however, they belong to the Bacillus genus.
Tubercle disease or a bacterial pocket disease of sugar beets are names used to describe one of the gall-malformed diseases of sugar beet roots. Xanthomonas beticola is the historical name of the pathogen supposedly causing bacterial pocket disease. There were no isolates deposited in any collection corresponding to the originally isolated bacteria, except two strains from the NCPPB (National Collection of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, UK). However, both isolates were identified as related to Bacillus pumilus, which raised doubts about their pathogenicity. In our laboratory, greenhouse, and preliminary field experiments, we demonstrated that such strains are not pathogenic to sugar beets. Furthermore, both strains promoted their growth, improved their yield quality, and partly protected them against Rhizoctonia solani in a field experiment.
Authors wish to acknowledge Ms. Julia Dickenson, the Polish-American Fulbright Commission grantee, for her language support.
Natasza Borodynko-Filas
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
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