Isolation ofEnterobacter cowaniifromEucalyptusshowing symptoms of bacterial blight and dieback in Uruguay

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Aims:This study was performed to identify bacterial strains isolated simultaneously with Pantoea species from Eucalyptus trees showing symptoms of bacterial blight and dieback in Uruguay.Methods and Results:Several molecular techniques including 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing and DNA–DNA hybridization were used to characterize the Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, slime-producing bacterial strains isolated along with Pantoea species from Eucalyptus. Hypersensitivity reactions (HR) and pathogenicity tests were performed on tobacco and Eucalyptus seedlings, respectively. The isolates clustered closely with the type strain of Enterobacter cowanii in both phylogenetic trees constructed. The DNA–DNA similarity between the isolates and the type strain of Ent. cowanii ranged from 88% to 92%. A positive HR was observed on the tobacco seedlings, but no disease symptoms were visible on the inoculated Eucalyptus seedlings.Conclusions:Enterobacter cowanii was isolated from trees with symptoms of bacterial blight although strains of this bacterial species do not appear to be the causal agent of the disease.Significance and Impact of the Study:This study provides the first report of Ent. cowanii isolated from Eucalyptus. Its presence in Eucalyptus tissue suggests that it is an endophyte in trees showing symptoms of blight.

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