Fluctuation of bacteria isolated from elm tissues during different seasons and from different plant organs

Stefano Mocali, Emanuela Bertelli, Francescopaolo Di Cello, Alessio Mengoni, Alessandra Sfalanga, Francesca Viliani, Anna Caciotti, Stefania Tegli, Giuseppe Surico, Renato Fani

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78 Scopus citations


In this work we isolated a culturable endophytic aerobic heterotrophic bacterial community from the stem and root tissues of elm trees (Ulmus spp.) and analyzed its fluctuations. A total of 724 bacterial isolates were collected at different times (April, June, September and December) from two elm trees, one infected with Elm Yellows phytoplasmas, and one which was healthy-looking. The isolates were grouped into 82 haplotypes, identified by means of amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) using the restriction enzyme AluI, suggesting that the genetic diversity of the bacterial community was very high. The taxonomic position of the isolates belonging to the twelve main haplotypes, representing more than 72% of the total population, was determined by 16S rDNA sequencing. The main genera were Bacillus, Curtobacterium, Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Sphingomonas, Enterobacter, and Staphylococcus. The fluctuations in the bacterial community, determined by different parameters (seasonal changes, plant organ, presence of phytoplasmas) were studied, revealing that they were influenced both by variations in temperature (warm or cold according to the season) and by the organ examined (roots or stems). The role of the phytopathogenic status in these fluctuations was also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Endophytes
  • Microbial population
  • Phytoplasmas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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