Erwinia gerundensis sp. nov., a cosmopolitan epiphyte originally isolated from pome fruit trees

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2016 Mar;66(3):1583-1592. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.000920. Epub 2016 Jan 26.


A survey to obtain potential antagonists of pome fruit tree diseases yielded two yellow epiphytic bacterial isolates morphologically similar to Pantoea agglomerans, but showing no biocontrol activity. Whole-cell MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and analysis of 16S rRNA gene and gyrB sequences suggested the possibility of a novel species with a phylogenetic position in either the genus Pantoea or the genus Erwinia. Multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) placed the two strains in the genus Erwinia and supported their classification as a novel species. The strains showed general phenotypic characteristics typical of this genus and results of DNA-DNA hybridizations confirmed that they represent a single novel species. Both strains showed a DNA G+C content, as determined by HPLC, of 54.5 mol% and could be discriminated from phylogenetically related species of the genus Erwinia by their ability to utilize potassium gluconate, potassium 2-ketogluconate, maltose, melibiose and raffinose. Whole-genome sequencing of strain EM595T revealed the presence of a chromosomal carotenoid biosynthesis gene cluster similar to those found in species of the genera Cronobacter and Pantoea that explains the pigmentation of the strain, which is atypical for the genus Erwinia. Additional strains belonging to the same species were recovered from different plant hosts in three different continents, revealing the cosmopolitan nature of this epiphyte. The name Erwinia gerundensis sp. nov. is proposed, with EM595T ( = LMG 28990T = CCOS 903T) as the designated type strain.