Characterization of Pseudomonas syringae strains associated with shoot blight of raspberry and blackberry in Serbia
During May 2016 severe blight symptoms were observed in several raspberry and blackberry fields in Serbia. A total of 22 strains were isolated: 16 from symptomatic raspberry shoots, two from asymptomatic raspberry leaves, and four from symptomatic blackberry shoots. Additionally, eight raspberry strains, isolated earlier from two similar outbreaks were included in the study. Pathogenicity of the strains was confirmed on detached raspberry and blackberry shoots by reproducing the symptoms of natural infection. The strains were gram negative, fluorescent on KB, ice nucleation positive and utilized glucose oxidatively. All strain were levan positive, oxidase negative, nonpectolytic, arginine dihydrolase negative and induced HR in tobacco leaves (LOPAT + - - - +, Pseudomonas Group Ia). Furthermore, all strains liquefied gelatin and hydrolyzed aesculin, but did not show tyrosinase activity nor utilized tartrate (GATTa + + - -). Tentative identification using morphology, LOPAT, GATTa and INA tests suggested that isolated strains belong to Pseudomonas syringae. The syrB gene associated with syringomycin production was detected in all strains. DNA fingerprints with REP, ERIC and BOX primers generated identical profiles for 29 strains, except for strain KBI 222, showing unique genomic fingerprint. Nine out of ten selected strains exhibited identical sequences of four housekeeping genes: gyrB, rpoD, gapA and gltA. Five nucleotide polymorphisms were found in strain KBI 222 at the rpoD gene locus only. In the phylogenetic tree based on concatenated sequence of all four housekeeping genes, strains clustered within phylogroup 2 (i.e. genomospecies 1) of the P. syringae species complex, with pathotype strains of P. syringae pv. aceris and P. syringae pv. solidagae as their closest relatives. There was no correlation between genotype and geographic origin, particular outbreak, host, or cultivar.
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