Population diversity of Pseudomonas syringae subsp. savastanoi on olive and oleander.
Twenty-one strains of P. syringae pv. savastanoi, isolated from knots on olive and oleander trees growing in close proximity to or in physical contact with one another, were evaluated for knot induction and for bacteriocin production. In addition, DNA preparations from the bacterial strains were tested for hybridization to probes containing the tryptophan monooxygenase (iaaM) and isopentenyl transferase (ipt) genes, which are involved in indole-3-acetic acid and cytokinin biosynthesis, respectively, in P.s. pv. savastanoi. The strains showed features characteristic of strains usually isolated from their respective host plants. For example, all 10 oleander strains were virulent both to oleander and olive, did not produce bacteriocins and harboured the iaaM gene on plasmids. In contrast, all 11 olive strains were virulent only to olive, 10 strains produced bacteriocins, and 9 strains carried the iaaM gene on the chromosome. Two olive strains (OA11, OD21) harboured the gene coding for iaaM on plasmids. Furthermore, strain OD21 carried the iaaM gene on the same plasmid as the ipt gene. This is the first report of a plasmid-borne iaaM in typical olive strains (virulent only to olive and bacteriocin producers), and of the presence of the ipt gene on the same plasmid. In olive and oleander strains the ipt gene was located either on plasmids or on the chromosome. These results suggest, that under natural conditions the pathogen does not appear to spread from oleander to olive even when trees are growing in close proximity or in physical contact. The location of the phytohormone genes on plasmids or on the chromosome is discussed in relation to bacteriocin-production and knot-induction on the host species.