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Keywords:

  • Gram-positive plant pathogen;
  • potato;
  • S. europaeiscabiei ;
  • S. turgidiscabies ;
  • Solanum tuberosum ;
  • Streptomyces spp.

The present survey was conducted to isolate and characterize Streptomyces species from common scab lesions of potato in Norway. Bacteria were isolated from scab lesions on tubers sampled in two consecutive years at different locations in Norway spanning ∼1400 km from south to north. In total, 957 independent isolations from individual tubers were performed, with 223 putative pathogenic isolates obtained from 29 different potato cultivars and 130 different fields. Streptomyces europaeiscabiei was the most abundant species isolated from common scab lesions (69%), while 31% of the isolates obtained were S. turgidiscabies. Streptomyces scabies was not found. Pathogenicity of selected Streptomyces isolates was tested on potato. The ability of the bacterial isolates to infect potato was consistent with the presence of the txtAB operon. The results revealed no pattern in geographical distribution of S. europaeiscabiei and S. turgidiscabies; both could be found in the same field and even the same lesion. Four different pathogenicity island (PAI) genotypes were detected amongst the txtAB positive isolates: nec1+/tomA+, nec1–/tomA+, nec1+/tomA− and nec1−/tomA−. The current findings demonstrate that there is genetic variability within species and that the species are not spread solely by clonal expansion. This is thought to be the most comprehensive survey of Streptomyces species that cause common scab of potato in a European country.