is an aerobic non-sporing, Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacterium. R. solanacearum
is soil-borne and motile with a polar flagellar tuft. It colonises the xylem, causing bacterial wilt in a very wide range of potential host plants. It is known as Granville wilt when it occurs in tobacco. Bacterial wilts of tomato, pepper, eggplant and Irish potato caused by Ralstonia solanacearum
were among the first diseases that Erwin Frink Smith proved to be caused by a bacterial pathogen. Because of its devastating lethality, R. solanacearum
is now of the more intensively studied phytopathogenic bacteria and bacterial wilt of tomato is a model system for investigating mechanisms of pathogenesis. Ralstonia was recently classified as Pseudomonas
with similarity in most aspects, except that it does not produce fluorescent pigment like Pseudomonas
. The genome of R. solanacearum
Strain GMI1000 has been sequenced. Within the R. solanacearum species complex, there are four major monophyletic clusters of strains, termed phylotypes, that are geographically distinct: phylotypes I-IV are found in Asia, America, Africa, and Oceania, respectively.
R. solanacearum was once considered as a possible biological control of Kahili Ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), which is a member of '100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species' in 2004. However, R. solanacearum is no longer used as a biological control for Kahili Ginger in Hawaiian forests because of its wide host range. The ginger strain infects numerous ginger species, including edible ginger (Zingiber officinale), shampoo ginger (Zingiber zerumbet, pink ginger (Alpinia purpurata) and red ginger (Alpinia purpurata).