Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Cordley Hall 2082, Corvallis 97331-2902
Three single-copy, unique DNA fragments, designated Cms50, Cms72, and Cms85, were isolated from strain CS3 of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus by subtraction hybridization using driver DNA from C. michiganensis subsp. insidiosus, C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, and Rhodococcus facians. Radio-labeled probes made of these fragments and used in Southern blot analysis revealed each to be absolutely specific to all North American C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus strains tested, including plasmidless and nonmucoid strains. The probes have no homology with genomic DNA from related C. michiganensis subspecies insidiosus, michiganensis, and tessellarius, nor with DNA from 11 additional bacterial species and three unidentified strains, some of which have been previously reported to display cross-reactivity with C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus-specific antisera. The three fragments shared no homology, and they appeared to be separated from each other by at least 20 kbp in the CS3 genome. Internal primer sets permitted amplification of each fragment by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) only from C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus DNA. In a PCR-based sensitivity assay using a primer set that amplifies Cms85, the lowest level of detection of C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus was 100 CFU per milliliter when cells were added to potato core fluid. Erroneous results that may arise from PCR artifacts and mutational events are, therefore, minimized by the redundancy of the primer sets, and the products should be verifiable with unique capture probes in sequence-based detection systems.
potato bacterial ring rot.