Rathayibacter iranicus isolated from symptomless wheat seeds in Turkey.
During 2003, a survey of wheat seeds for Rathayibacter species (RS) in Turkey using samples from 799 farmers in 6 provinces in Central Anatolia was conducted. The samples showed neither the brown to black galls typical of Anguina tritici nor the yellowish galls typical of R. iranicus (Ri) and R. tritici (Rt). The presence of RS in the samples was studied. After the incubation of seeds at 27°C for 7 days, several typical colonies of RS were cloned by streaking onto YDC agar. Twenty-five strains were presumptively identified as RS based on a Gram positive reaction, oxidase negative reaction and yellow growth. Three strains (TRS2 from Konya, TRS10 from Hisarkikaya, and TRS25 from Ankara) were used for further identification and speciation. The type strains of Rt (International Collection of Phytopathogenic Bacteria or ICPB 70004T; FH-5; CT 102T) and Ri (ICPB 70005T; FH-6 T; CI 148T) were included as controls. All 3 strains were biochemically typical of Ri and Rt by producing acid from D-mannose, inulin, galactose and mannitol. However, the strains failed to utilize acetate or hydrolyse casein, failed to grow in greater than 1.0% sodium chloride amended NBY, or on CNS agar, which is characteristic of Ri but not Rt. The new strains contained the fatty acids typical of Ri. The identification of the 3 strains as Ri was further supported by 16s rDNA sequence similarities to Ri and Rt of 100 and 99.3%, respectively. Identification as Ri was confirmed by AFLP analysis (90% similarity to Ri and 46% similarity to Rt). This is thought to be the first report of Ri outside of Iran. Cultures have been deposited in the ICPB as ICPB 70146 (FH-154; TRS2), 70154 (FH-162; TRS10), and 70169 (FH-177; TRS25).