Classification of a species of Erwinia from the Oconaluftee River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert Pollock McKinnon (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Sean O'Connell

Abstract: As part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) project from Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), stream water was collected from near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and bacteria were cultured from it. One of the 30 bacterial isolates was then selected and subjected to a taxonomic investigation using a polyphasic approach of growth-based and DNA-based methods. The isolate was found to be a facultative anaerobe, Gram-negative, rod-shaped in cell morphology, and motile. The species showed a temperature growth range from 4?-30?, pH range of 4-7, and salinity tolerance of up to 3%. Metabolic analysis of the isolate indicated the strain to be catalase positive, oxidase negative, and it had the ability to ferment glucose and arabinose. Analyses using the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) showed the isolate to have the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with Erwinia aphidicola at 92.7%. Genome sequencing and annotation indicated twelve conserved signature indels (CSIs) present, with 65 drug resistant related genes, eight transposable elements, fifty genes with a phage origin, and one pathogenesis related gene. Maximum likelihood and parsimony models using the 16S rRNA gene were used for phylogenetic analysis of the isolate and its closely related species in the genera Pantoea and Erwinia. Results indicated that the isolate is a strain of Erwinia billingiae, which was corroborated via sequencing of the full genome. Erwinia billingiae is an epiphyte associated with Rosaceous plants, and has been examined as a potential biological control to Erwinia amylovora the species that causes fire blight.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Erwinia -- Phylogeny
Erwinia -- Genome mapping
Epiphytes -- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (N.C. and Tenn.)

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