Photobacterium damselae ssp. piscicida: Detection by direct amplification of 16S rRNA gene sequences and genotypic variation as determined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)

H. Kvitt, M. Ucko, A. Colorni, C. Batargias, A. Zlotkin, W. Knibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A PCR protocol for the rapid diagnosis of fish 'pasteurellosis' based on 16S rRNA gene sequences was developed. The procedure combines low annealing temperature that detects low titers of Photobacterium damselae but also related species, and high annealing temperature for the specific identification of P. damselae directly from infected fish. The PCR protocol was validated on 19 piscine isolates of P. damselae ssp. piscicida from different geographic regions (Japan, Italy, Spain, Greece and Israel), on spontaneously infected sea bream Sparus aurata and sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax, and on closely related American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) reference strains. PCR using high annealing temperature (64°C) discriminated between P. damselae and closely related reference strains, including P. histaminum. Sixteen isolates of P. damselae ssp. piscicida, 2 P. damselae ssp. piscicida reference strains and 1 P. damselae ssp. damselae reference strain were subjected to Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) analysis, and a similarity matrix was produced. Accordingly, the Japanese isolates of P. damselae ssp. piscicida were distinguished from the Mediterranean/European isolates at a cut-off value of 83% similarity. A further subclustering at a cut-off value of 97% allowed discrimination between the Israeli P. damselae ssp. piscicida isolates and the other Mediterranean/European isolates. The combination of PCR direct amplification and AFLP provides a 2-step procedure, where P. damselae is rapidly identified at genus level on the basis of its 16S rRNA gene sequence and then grouped into distinct clusters on the basis of AFLP polymorphisms. The first step of direct amplification is highly sensitive and has immediate practical consequences, offering fish farmers a rapid diagnosis, while the AFLP is more specific and detects intraspecific variation which, in our study, also reflected geographic correspondence. Because of its superior discriminative properties, AFLP can be an important tool for epidemiological and taxonomic studies of this highly homogeneous genus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Volume48
Issue number3
StatePublished - 5 Apr 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA gene
  • AFLP
  • Dicentrarchus labrax
  • PCR
  • Photobacterium damselae
  • Sparus aurata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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