J. J. Hao and
Q. X. Meng, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824;
J. F. Yin, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Tifton 31793; and
W. W. Kirk, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing
A novel strain of Streptomyces (named DS3024) was isolated from a potato field in Michigan in 2006. The taxonomy of the organism was determined by morphology, biochemistry, and genetic analysis. Analysis of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence indicated that the organism was most similar to an isolate of Streptomyces sp., ME02-6979.3a, which is not pathogenic to potato tubers but is distinct from other known pathogenic Streptomyces spp. Strain DS3024 has genes that encode thaxtomin synthetase (txtAB), which is required for pathogenicity and virulence, and tomatinase (tomA), which is a common marker for many pathogenic Streptomyces spp. However, the nec1 gene (associated with virulence in most pathogenic Streptomyces spp.) was not detected. The new strain was capable of growth at pH 4.5, caused necrosis on potato tuber slices, and produced thaxtomin A. In greenhouse experiments, DS3024 caused scab symptoms on potato tubers similar to those caused by Streptomyces scabies on tubers of potato cv. Atlantic, which is scab susceptible. We propose that DS3024 is a new strain of Streptomyces capable of causing common scab on potato tubers. The prevalence of this strain of Streptomyces in potato-producing areas in the north-central United States has not been determined.