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Polish isolates of pectinolytic bacteria from the species Pectobacterium carotovorum were screened for the presence of a DNA restriction-modification (R-M) system. Eighty-nine strains of P. carotovorum were isolated from infected potato plants. Sixty-six strains belonged to P. carotovorum ssp. atrosepticum and 23 to P. carotovorum ssp. carotovorum. The presence of restriction enzyme Pca17AI, which is an isoschizomer of EcoRII endonuclease, was observed in all isolates of P. c. atrosepticum but not in P. c. carotovorum. The biochemical properties, PCR amplification, and sequences of the Pca17AI restriction endonuclease and methyltransferase genes were compared with the prototype EcoRII R-M system genes. Only when DNA isolated from cells of P. c. atrosepticum was used as a template, amplification of a 680 bp homologous to the gene coding EcoRII endonuclease. Endonuclease Pca17AI, having a relatively low temperature optimum, was identified. PCR amplification revealed that the nucleotide sequence of genes for EcoRII and Pca17AI R-M are different. Dcm methylation was observed in all strains of Pectobacterium and other Erwinia species tested. The sequence of a DNA fragment coding Dcm methylase in P. carotovorum was different from that of Escherichia coli. Pca17AI is the first psychrophilic isoschizomer of EcoRII endonuclease. The presence of specific Dcm methylation in chromosomal DNA isolated from P. carotovorum is described for the first time. A 680 bp PCR product, unique for P. c. atrosepticum strains, could serve as a molecular marker for detection of these bacteria in environmental samples.


K Waleron, M Waleron, J Osipiuk, A J Podhajska, E Lojkowska. Identification of a DNA restriction-modification system in Pectobacterium carotovorum strains isolated from Poland. Journal of applied microbiology. 2006 Feb;100(2):343-51

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PMID: 16430511

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