Forty-five erwinia strains from 14 different hosts have been tested lor growth on a crystal violet pectate medium with or without 70 μ/ml erythromycin at 27, 33.5 and 37°C. On the basis of positive data in the literature it was tried to identify the strains as Erwnia carotovora subsp. atroseptica, E. carotovora subsp. carotovora or E. chrysanthemi using this method.

It appeared that relatively few strains reacted differentially, apparently due to strain variation (all strains were identified also by biochemical and physiological tests). The conclusion is that for a reliable identification of field isolates of soft rot crwinias other (biochemical, physiological and serological) methods have to be applied.