Comparative study of genetic diversity of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp michiganensis isolates from the Canary Islands by RAPD-PCR, BOX-PCR and AFLP
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Molecular characterization of seedborne pathogens is an important issue when discerning their origin and tracking the spread of a disease. In the Canary Islands (Spain), Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm) was first detected in 2002, causing severe losses in many tomato-growing areas. Fifty four strains of this bacterium isolated from 2002 to 2007 and 19 strains from different Countries were characterized for genetic diversity. RAPD-PCR, BOX-PCR and AFLP provided differentiation among Cmm strains whereas no differences were observed with ERIC-PCR, REP-PCR and 16S-23S ITS PCR-RFLP. RAPD-PCR and BOX-PCR revealed high homogeneity among the Canary Island strains (>80 and >75% of similarity, respectively) which could not be grouped based on tomato cultivar, location or year of isolation. By contrast, strains of Cmm from other Countries displayed high diversity, providing several clusters, most of which were composed of a single strain. Similarly, AFLP analysis of 29 selected strains of Cmm gave the same profile for the Canarian ones (>90% of similarity) whereas high polymorphism was obtained with strains from different countries. Moreover, two strains, one from the USA and another from Spain, were related to the Canarian strains, according to RAPD-PCR (>60% of similarity), BOX-PCR (>75%) and AFLP analysis (>90%)), suggesting a common origin. The circumstances under which the Cmm outbreaks Occurred in the Canary Islands and the high homogeneity observed among the Canarian strains would suggest that the bacterium was introduced into the region from only one origin.