During a survey of potato scab pathogens in China from 2003 to 2012, a new pathogen was found in Shanxi and Neimenggu provinces. The incidence was approximately 20% of all recovered strains. The lesions caused by the pathogen were slightly raised and similar to those caused by Streptomyces scabies (3). Lesions were excised (approximately 10 mm3) from 40 infected tubers, surface-disinfested with 0.3% NaOCl for 30 s, rinsed in sterile water three times, cut into 5 mm3, then sliced into 1-mm pieces, and plated on water agar amended with ampicillin (50 μg/ml). Plates were incubated at 28°C in the dark for 4 days. The spores of Streptomyces sp. strains growing from the tuber pieces were collected from single bacterial colonies and cultured on oatmeal agar. To fulfill Koch's postulates, one strain, CPS-2, was grown at 28°C for 10 days and the spores were washed from the plates as inoculum. One hundred milliliters of inoculum (1 × 105 CFU/ml) was mixed with autoclaved soil and vermiculite (1:1) in each pot (15 cm in diameter). Cut tubers were planted in the pots (potato cv. Favorita, one plant per pot, five replicates) and grown under greenhouse conditions (22 ± 5°C). Typical common scab symptoms consisting of small, brown, raised lesions developed on potato tubers 12 weeks after planting. The same strain was re-isolated from the lesions of the new scabby tubers. Non-inoculated plants, treated as described above, but without strain CPS-2, remained healthy. The CPS-2 strain was identified based on morphological and physiological characterization and 16S rDNA sequence. On yeast-malt extract agar, the test strain produced grayish-white aerial hypha, reddish brown substrate mycelium and pigments, and loose spiral spore chains. Spores were smooth and were 0.8 to 0.9 × 1.1 to 1.2 μm in size (diameter and length). The ability of the strain to use single sources of carbon and nitrogen was verified according to the International Streptomyces project (4). The strain grew in media supplemented with L-arabinose, D-fructose, D-glucose, rhamnose, raffinose, meso-inositol, sucrose, and D-xylose, but not D-mannitol. It used L-hydroxyproline, L-methionine, and L-histidine, and produced melanin on tyrosine and peptone yeast extract agar. The strain did not grow at a pH less than 5.0 and was sensitive to streptomycin (20 μg/ml), phenol (0.1%), and crystal violet (0.5 μg/mL), but not to penicillin (10 IU/ml). The strain also produced hydrogen sulfide. The biological characteristics of strain CPS-2 were in accord with Streptomyces galilaeus. CPS-2 produced thaxtomin A in oatmeal liquid medium and the txt AB gene fragment was successfully amplified using specific primers (2). The 16S rDNA sequence of CPS-2 was amplified by PCR with primers 16S1-F: 5′-CATTCACGGAGAGTTTGATCC-3′ and 16S1-R: 5′-AGAAAGGAGGTGATCCAGCC-3′ (1) and sequenced. A BLAST search of the 16S rDNA sequence for CPS-2 was conducted using the NCBI GenBank database, resulting in 99.8% similarity to S. galilaeus (NR_040857). The 16S rDNA sequence for CPS-2 (1,388 bp) was deposited in GenBank (AY621378). To our knowledge, this is the first report of S. galilaeus causing common scab of potato in China.
References: (1) R. A. Bukhalid et al. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68:738, 2002. (2) R. Flores-González et al. Plant Pathol. 57:162, 2008. (3) D. H. Lambert and R. Loria. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 39:387, 1989. (4) E. B. Shirling and D. Gottlieb. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 16:313, 1966.
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