Development of a Multiple Loci Variable Number of Tandem Repeats Analysis (MLVA) to Unravel the Intra-Pathovar Structure of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae Populations Worldwide

Abstract : The bacterial canker of kiwifruit by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae is an emblematic example of a catastrophic disease of fruit crops. In 2008 a new, extremely virulent form of the pathogen emerged and rapidly devastated many Actinidia spp. orchards all over the world. In order to understand differences in populations within this pathovar and to elucidate their diffusion and movements on world scale, it is necessary to be able to quickly and on a routine basis compare new isolates with previous records. In this report a worldwide collection of 142 strains was analyzed by MLVA, chosen as investigative technique for its efficacy, reproducibility, simplicity and low cost. A panel of 13 Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTR) loci was identified and used to describe the pathogen population. The MLVA clustering is highly congruent with the population structure as previously established by other molecular approaches including whole genome sequencing and correlates with geographic origin, time of isolation and virulence. For convenience, we divided the VNTR loci in two panels. Panel 1 assay, using six loci, recognizes 23 different haplotypes, clustered into ten complexes with highest congruence with previous classifications. Panel 2, with seven VNTR loci, provides discriminatory power. Using the total set of 13 VNTR loci, 58 haplotypes can be distinguished. The recent hypervirulent type shows very limited diversity and includes, beside the strains from Europe, New Zealand and Chile, a few strains from Shaanxi, China. A broad genetic variability is observed in China, but different types are also retrievable in Japan and Korea. The low virulent strains cluster together and are very different from the other MLVA genotypes. Data were used to generate a public database in MLVAbank. MLVA represents a very promising first-line assay for large-scale routine genotyping, prior to whole genome sequencing of only the most relevant samples.
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Serena Ciarroni, Lorenzo Gallipoli, Maria C Taratufolo, Margi I Butler, Russell T M Poulter, et al.. Development of a Multiple Loci Variable Number of Tandem Repeats Analysis (MLVA) to Unravel the Intra-Pathovar Structure of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae Populations Worldwide. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2014, 10 (8), pp.e0135310. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0135310⟩. ⟨hal-01214203⟩

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