L. M. Quesada-Ocampo, Visiting Research Associate,
N. A. Landers, former Graduate Research Assistant,
A. C. Lebeis, Undergraduate Research Assistant,
D. W. Fulbright, Professor, and
M. K. Hausbeck, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824
Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, causal agent of bacterial canker of tomato, is distinguished into four fingerprint types (A, B, C, and D) using BOX-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To characterize the variation within the C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis population in Michigan, 718 strains of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis were isolated from infected foliage and fruit collected from 14 and 9 Michigan commercial tomato fields in 1997 and 1998, respectively. The frequency of PCR types detected with BOX-PCR in all strains, and Bayesian cluster analysis, pairwise differentiation index comparisons, and genetic diversity estimates of 96 strains genotyped for six virulence-related genes revealed that C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis populations in Michigan tomato fields are geographically structured. A multilocus haplotype cladogram was also consistent with geographic stratification in C. michiganensis subsp. Michiganensis populations. Some regions had strains predominantly of only one PCR type or belonging mostly to one genetic cluster, while other regions presented more diversity of occurrence of PCR types and genetic clusters. Results derived from this study provide information about the genetic structure of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis populations in Michigan and genetic diversity of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis inocula, which is key in developing disease management strategies.