Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23376194
J. Microbiol. Methods 2013 Mar;92(3):366-74
Ralstonia solanacearum is an important soil borne bacterial plant pathogen causing bacterial wilt on many important crops. To better monitor epidemics, efficient tools that can identify and discriminate populations are needed. In this study, we assessed variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) genotyping as a new tool for epidemiological surveillance of R. solanacearum phylotypes, and more specifically for the monitoring of the monomorphic ecotypes “Moko” (banana-pathogenic) and “brown rot” (potato-pathogenic under cool conditions). Screening of six R. solanacearum genome sequences lead to select 36 VNTR loci that were preliminarily amplified on 24 strains. From this step, 26 single-locus primer pairs were multiplexed, and applied to a worldwide collection of 337 strains encompassing the whole phylogenetic diversity, with revelation on a capillary-electrophoresis genotype. Four loci were monomorphic within all phylotypes and were not retained; the other loci were highly polymorphic but displayed a clear phylotype-specificity. Phylotype-specific MLVA schemes were thus defined, based on 13 loci for phylotype I, 12 loci for phylotype II, 11 loci for phylotype III and 6 for phylotype IV. MLVA typing was significantly more discriminative than egl-based sequevar typing, particularly on monomorphic “brown rot” ecotype (phylotype IIB/sequevar 1) and “Moko disease” clade 4 (Phylotype IIB/sequevar 4). Our results raise promising prospects for studies of population genetic structures and epidemiological monitoring.