van Doorn, J.; Hollinger, T. C.; Oudega, B.
A sensitive and specific detection method was developed for Xanthomonas hyacinthi; this method was based on amplification of a subsequence of the type IV fimbrial-subunit gene fimA from strain S148. The fimA gene was amplified by PCR with degenerate DNA primers designed by using the N-terminal and C-terminal amino acid sequences of trypsin fragments of FimA. The nucleotide sequence of fimA was determined and compared with the nucleotide sequences coding for the fimbrial subunits in other type IV fimbria-producing bacteria, such as Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Moraxella bovis. In a PCR internal primers JAAN and JARA, designed by using the nucleotide sequences of the variable central and C-terminal region of fimA, amplified a 226-bp DNA fragment in all X. hyacinthi isolates. This PCR was shown to be pathovar specific, as assessed by testing 71 Xanthomonas pathovars and bacterial isolates belonging to other genera, such as Erwinia and Pseudomonas. Southern hybridization experiments performed with the labelled 226-bp DNA amplicon as a probe suggested that there is only one structural type IV fimbrial-gene cluster in X. hyacinthi. Only two Xanthomonas translucens pathovars cross-reacted weakly in PCR. Primers amplifying a subsequence of the fimA gene of X. campestris pv. vesicatoria (T. Ojanen-Reuhs, N. Kalkkinen, B. Westerlund-Wikström, J. van Doorn, K. Haahtela, E.-L. Nurmiaho-Lassila, K. Wengelink, U. Bonas, and T. K. Korhonen, J. Bacteriol. 179: 1280–1290, 1997) were shown to be pathovar specific, indicating that the fimbrial-subunit sequences are more generally applicable in xanthomonads for detection purposes. Under laboratory conditions, approximately 1,000 CFU of X. hyacinthi per ml could be detected. In inoculated leaves of hyacinths the threshold was 5,000 CFU/ml. The results indicated that infected hyacinths with early symptoms could be successfully screened for X. hyacinthi with PCR. PMID:11157222