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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 May;65(5):2184-94.

Genetic diversity of african and worldwide strains of ralstonia solanacearum as determined by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the hrp gene region

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Laboratoire de Phytopathologie, CIRAD-FLHOR, 97410 Saint-Pierre, La Reunion, France.


The genetic diversity among a worldwide collection of 120 strains of Ralstonia solanacearum was assessed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of amplified fragments from the hrp gene region. Five amplified fragments appeared to be specific to R. solanacearum. Fifteen different profiles were identified among the 120 bacterial strains, and a hierarchical cluster analysis distributed them into eight clusters. Each cluster included strains belonging to a single biovar, except for strains of biovars 3 and 4, which could not be separated. However, the biovar 1 strains showed rather extensive diversity since they were distributed into five clusters whereas the biovar 2 and the biovar 3 and 4 strains were gathered into one and two clusters, respectively. PCR-RFLP analysis of the hrp gene region confirmed the results of previous studies which split the species into an "Americanum" division including biovar 1 and 2 strains and an "Asiaticum" division including biovar 3 and 4 strains. However, the present study showed that most of the biovar 1 strains, originating from African countries (Reunion Island, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and Angola) and being included in a separate cluster, belong to the "Asiaticum" rather than to the "Americanum" division. These African strains could thus have evolved separately from other biovar 1 strains originating from the Americas.

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