Arborist b 480-969-8808Citrus bacterial spot



Scientific Name

[Bacterium] Xanthomonas alfalfae subsp. citrumelonis (syn. Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citrumelo)

Other common names 

CBS, this however may lead to confusion since citrus black spot uses the same abbreviation.


Disease cycle 

Citrus bacterial spot is only known to occur only under nursery conditions. There are three groups of isolates based on laboratory assays considered aggressive, moderately aggressive, and weakly aggressive. Only aggressive isolates were historically spread in field nurseries naturally by wind-blown rain and overhead irrigation. All strains can be mechanically moved from tree to tree under normal nursery operation. When infected trees are transplanted into groves, the bacterium rapidly dies off and the disease becomes undetectable in a few months. The activity of the citrus leaf miner exacerbates citrus bacterial spot.



Leaf - the symptoms of citrus bacterial spot are very similar to those of citrus canker, but the lesions are flat and not raised. Foliar lesions show necrotic centers that often can crack or drop out and are surrounded by water-soaked margins. Lesions produced by aggressive strains have more pronounced water-soaked margins than those of citrus canker. Bud take and growth on infected rootstocks, especially Swingle, can be infected.

Fruit - fruit infection is rare and has only been reported on Flying-dragon trifoliate.

Host range 

Citrus bacterial spot can affect common scion and rootstock species and is most severe on Swingle citrumelo, trifoliate orange rootstock, and grapefruit scions.







Only known to occur in Florida.

Easily confused with 

Citrus canker

It should be noted that citrus bacterial spot was initially regulated in Florida similarly to citrus canker, however, the low disease potential in groves was realized and the disease was deregulated. Care must be taken to differentiate between citrus bacterial spot and citrus canker.


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