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Pectobacterium spp. Associated with Bacterial Stem Rot Syndrome of Potato in Canada

October 2012 , Volume 102 , Number  10
Pages  937 - 947

S. H. De Boer, X. Li, and L. J. Ward

Charlottetown Laboratory, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 93 Mount Edward Road, Charlottetown, PE, C1A 5T1 Canada.

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Accepted for publication 14 June 2012.

Pectobacterium atrosepticum, P. carotovorum subsp. brasiliensis, P. carotovorum subsp. carotovorum, and P. wasabiae were detected in potato stems with blackleg symptoms using species- and subspecies-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The tests included a new assay for P. wasabiae based on the phytase gene sequence. Identification of isolates from diseased stems by biochemical or physiological characterization, PCR, and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) largely confirmed the PCR detection of Pectobacterium spp. in stem samples. P. atrosepticum was most commonly present but was the sole Pectobacterium sp. detected in only 52% of the diseased stems. P. wasabiae was most frequently present in combination with P. atrosepticum and was the sole Pectobacterium sp. detected in 13% of diseased stems. Pathogenicity of P. wasabiae on potato and its capacity to cause blackleg disease were demonstrated by stem inoculation and its isolation as the sole Pectobacterium sp. from field-grown diseased plants produced from inoculated seed tubers. Incidence of P. carotovorum subsp. brasiliensis was low in diseased stems, and the ability of Canadian strains to cause blackleg in plants grown from inoculated tubers was not confirmed. Canadian isolates of P. carotovorum subsp. brasiliensis differed from Brazilian isolates in diagnostic biochemical tests but conformed to the subspecies in PCR specificity and typing by MLST.

© 2012 Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)