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Phytopathogenic bacteria are bacteria responsible for bacterial diseases or bacterial blights in plants. Living as parasites on wild or cultivated plants, bacteria cause cankers and soft rot among other things.
There are estimated to be around 100 species of phytopathogenic bacteria. Their economic impact can be very significant on certain crops, such as the bacterial citrus canker due to Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (having killed millions of trees in the United States and Brazil) or Pierce’s disease due to Xylella fastidiosa, which hinders grapevine cultivation in certain regions of the United States and is found on olive trees.
Most phytopathogenic bacteria belong to the following genera: Acidovorax, Agrobacterium, Burkholderia, Clavibacter, Erwinia, Pantoea, Pectobacterium, Pseudomonas, Ralstonia, Streptomyces, Xanthomonas, Xylella, Phytoplasma and Spiroplasma.