Isolation, Characterisation and Experimental Evolution of Phage that Infect the Horse Chestnut Tree Pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi
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Bleeding canker of horse chestnut trees is a bacterial disease, caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi, estimated to be present in ~ 50% of UK horse chestnut trees. Currently, the disease has no cure and tree removal can be a common method of reducing inoculum and preventing spread. One potential method of control could be achieved using naturally occurring bacteriophages infective to the causative bacterium. Bacteriophages were isolated from symptomatic and asymptomatic horse chestnut trees in three locations in the South East of England. The phages were found to be belonging to both the Myoviridae and Podoviridae families by RAPD PCR and transmission electron microscopy. Experimental coevolution was carried out to understand the dynamics of bacterial resistance and phage infection and to determine whether new infective phage genotypes would emerge. The phages exhibited different coevolution patterns with their bacterial hosts across time. This approach could be used to generate novel phages for use in biocontrol cocktails in an effort to reduce the potential emergence of bacterial resistance.
author list (cited authors)
James, S. L., Rabiey, M., Neuman, B. W., Percival, G., & Jackson, R. W.