Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University, Geneva, NY.
New York Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis isolates, collected from disparate bacterial canker of tomato outbreaks over the past 11 years, were characterized with a multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) scheme that differentiated the 51 isolates into 21 haplotypes with a discriminatory power of 0.944. The MLSA scheme consisted of five housekeeping genes (kdpA, sdhA, dnaA, ligA, and gyrB) and three putative pathogenicity genes (celA, tomA, and nagA). Repetitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR), with the BOX-A1R primer, confirmed the high diversity of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis isolates in New York by demonstrating that all six PCR patterns (A, B, 13C, 65C, 81C, and D) were present, with PCR patterns C and A being the most common. The MLSA scheme provided higher resolving power than the current repetitive-PCR approach. The plasmid profiles of New York isolates were diverse and differed from reference strain NCPPB382. PCR analysis indicated that the presence of putative pathogenicity genes varied between isolates and highlighted the ephemeral nature of pathogenicity genes in field populations of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis. Analysis of molecular variance between Serbian and New York C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis isolates demonstrated that the two populations were not significantly different, with 98% genetic variation within each population and only 2% genetic variation between populations.