Bacteriophages of Erwinia amylovora. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fifty bacteriophage isolates of Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight, were collected from sites in and around the Niagara region of southern Ontario and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, Ontario. Forty-two phages survived the isolation, purification, and storage processes. The majority of the phages in the collection were isolated from the soil surrounding trees exhibiting fire blight symptoms. Only five phages were isolated from infected aerial tissue in pear and apple orchards. To avoid any single-host selection bias, six bacterial host strains were used in the initial isolation and enrichment processes. Molecular characterization of the phages with a combination of PCR and restriction endonuclease digestions showed that six distinct phage types, described as groups 1 to 6, were recovered. Ten phage isolates were related to the previously characterized E. amylovora PEa1, with some divergence of molecular markers between phages isolated from different sites. A study of the host ranges of the phages revealed that certain types were unable to efficiently lyse some E. amylovora strains and that some isolates were able to lyse the epiphytic bacterium Pantoea agglomerans. Representatives from the six molecular groups were studied by electron microscopy to determine their morphology. The phages exhibited distinct morphologies when examined by an electron microscope. Group 1 and 2 phages were tailed and contractile, and phages belonging to groups 3 to 6 had short tails or openings with thin appendages. Based on morphotypes, the bacteriophages of E. amylovora were placed in the order Caudovirales, in the families Myoviridae and PODOVIRIDAE:

published proceedings

  • Appl Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Gill, J. J., Svircev, A. M., Smith, R., & Castle, A. J.

citation count

  • 94

complete list of authors

  • Gill, JJ||Svircev, AM||Smith, R||Castle, AJ

publication date

  • April 2003