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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 May;78(9):3266-79. doi: 10.1128/AEM.06655-11. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Housekeeping gene sequencing and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis to identify subpopulations within Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato that correlate with host specificity.

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INRA, UMR 1345 Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences (IRHS), INRA, Agrocampus-Ouest, Université d’Angers, Beaucouzé, France.


Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola causes bacterial spot on Brassicaceae worldwide, and for the last 10 years severe outbreaks have been reported in the Loire Valley, France. P. syringae pv. maculicola resembles P. syringae pv. tomato in that it is also pathogenic for tomato and causes the same types of symptoms. We used a collection of 106 strains of P. syringae to characterize the relationships between P. syringae pv. maculicola and related pathovars, paying special attention to P. syringae pv. tomato. Phylogenetic analysis of gyrB and rpoD gene sequences showed that P. syringae pv. maculicola, which causes diseases in Brassicaceae, forms six genetic lineages within genomospecies 3 of P. syringae strains as defined by L. Gardan et al. (Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 49[Pt 2]:469-478, 1999), whereas P. syringae pv. tomato forms two distinct genetic lineages. A multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) conducted with eight minisatellite loci confirmed the genetic structure obtained with rpoD and gyrB sequence analyses. These results provide promising tools for fine-scale epidemiological studies on diseases caused by P. syringae pv. maculicola and P. syringae pv. tomato. The two pathovars had distinct host ranges; only P. syringae pv. maculicola strains were pathogenic for Brassicaceae. A subpopulation of P. syringae pv. maculicola strains that are pathogenic for Pto-expressing tomato plants were shown to lack avrPto1 and avrPtoB or to contain a disrupted avrPtoB homolog. Taking phylogenetic and pathological features into account, our data suggest that the DC3000 strain belongs to P. syringae pv. maculicola. This study shows that P. syringae pv. maculicola and P. syringae pv. tomato appear multiclonal, as they did not diverge from a single common ancestral group within the ancestral P. syringae genomospecies 3, and suggests that pathovar specificity within P. syringae may be due to independent genetic events.

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