Characterization of Erwinia amylovora strains from Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco by PCR based on tandem repeat sequences
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Forty Erwinia amylovora strains isolated from the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco have been characterized using sequences from tandem repeat of variable numbers (VNTR) as chromosomal markers. Three VNTR sequences were identified and used for studying the genetic diversity of the strains using a PCR fingerprinting method. Thirty nine strains showed high genetic homogeneity, but one strain displayed a profile quite different. We were able to obtain reproducible and characteristic profiles in strains from remote geographical areas, and associated them with each of the primers. Comparative analyses of Moroccan strains with three reference strains from Spain, France and England, were performed. The results revealed some polymorphisms compared with the English and the French strains, but notable similarities were observed with a Spanish strain obtained from plants imported from Belgium. The developed methodology has demonstrated its usefulness for being applied in epidemiological studies.