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Mol Cell Probes. 2004 Dec;18(6):421-7.

Identification of Flavobacterium columnare by a species-specific polymerase chain reaction and renaming of ATCC43622 strain to Flavobacterium johnsoniae.

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  • 1United States Department of Agriculture, Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, Agriculture Research Service, P.O. Box 1050, Stuttgart, AR 72160, USA. adarwish@spa.ars.usda.gov

Abstract

Species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers have been designed to identify the causative agent of columnaris disease, Flavobacterium columnare. The 16S rRNA gene sequences of F. columnare (eight sequences representing the different genotypes of the species) and related species (18 sequences) were aligned and compared to choose specific regions that are unique to F. columnare and do not have significant intraspecies variability. The species-specific regions in the 16S rRNA gene were used to design a pair of species-specific PCR primers, ColF and ColR. The PCR technique produced a specific amplicon of about 675 base pairs (bp) in 27 isolates of F. columnare and there was no amplification in the closely related species. The specificity of the amplified product was confirmed by digesting with HhaI. The PCR primers did not produce a 675 bp product with F. columnare ATCC43622 strain. This ATCC43622 strain was characterized by biochemical and ribotyping methods and renamed Flavobacterium johnsoniae. The American Type Culture Collection has confirmed these findings and made the change.

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