Deciphering phenotypic diversity of Ralstonia solanacearum strains pathogenic to potato.
Based on the phylotype classification, we questioned how genetically and phenotypically diverse strains of Ralstonia solanacearum pathogenic to potato may be. We studied 129 European and Mediterranean strains along with 57 reference strains known to cover genetic diversity in this species. Phylogeny analysis was done on endoglucanase gene sequences. Pathogenicity to potato, tomato, and eggplant was established at 24 to 30°C and 15 to 24°C, whereas tests on banana were conducted at 24 to 30°C. The ability to cause wilt on species of Solanaceae was shared by strains in all four phylotypes. Brown rot phylotypes IIB-1 and IIB-2 and phylotype IIB-27 established latent infections in banana, and Moko disease-causing phylotypes IIA-6, IIB-3, and IIB-4 were virulent to susceptible potato and tomato, addressing the question of host adaptation mechanisms, which may have undergone a similar bottleneck evolution. Cold-tolerance ability is only shared on species of Solanaceae among brown rot phylotype IIB-1, which gathered the majority of European and Mediterranean strains. We surveyed strain LNPV24.25 as the first report of an emerging phylotype IIB-4NPB strain in France. These findings showed that pathogenicity traits of genetically identified strains still need to be understood, especially in the perspective of post-genomics comparative analysis, to understand bacterial speciation in the R. solanacearum species complex.