Identification and Characterisation of Bacteria Causing Soft-rot in Agave tequilana
- Cite this article as:
- Jiménez-Hidalgo, I., Virgen-Calleros, G., Martínez-de la Vega, O. et al. European Journal of Plant Pathology (2004) 110: 317. doi:10.1023/B:EJPP.0000019791.81935.6d
Agave tequilana is the raw material for the production of the alcoholic beverage tequila. A bacterial disease has affected the A. tequilana crop in recent years. Previous reports based on colony and cell morphology, Gram stain and potato rot indicated that Erwinia sp. is the main pathogen. We isolated a several bacterial isolates capable of producing soft-rot symptoms in greenhouse pathogenicity assays. An extensive characterisation involving pathogenicity tests, fatty acid profile, metabolic and physiological properties, ribosomal DNA sequence and intergenic transcribed spacer amplification (ITS-PCR) and restriction banding pattern (ITS-RFLP) was made of each isolate. Three different species: Erwinia cacticida, Pantoea agglomerans and Pseudomonas sp. were identified. Fatty acid and metabolic profiles gave low similarity values of identification but 16S rDNA sequence, ITS-PCR and ITS-RFLP confirmed the identification of E. cacticida. In the phylogenetic tree, E. cacticida from blue agave was grouped neither with E. cacticida type strains nor with Erwinia carotovora. This is the first report that associates E. cacticida with A. tequilana soft-rot symptoms.