Bacteriophages, bacteria-infecting viruses, have been recently reconsidered as a biological control tool for preventing bacterial pathogens. Erwinia amylovora and E. pyrifoliae cause fire blight and black shoot blight disease in apple and pear, respectively. In this study, the bacteriophage phiEaP-8 was isolated from apple orchard soil and could efficiently and specifically kill both E. amylovora and E. pyrifoliae. This bacteriophage belongs to the Podoviridae family. Whole genome analysis revealed that phiEaP-8 carries a 75,929 bp genomic DNA with 78 coding sequences and 5 tRNA genes. Genome comparison showed that phiEaP-8 has only 85% identity to known bacteriophages at the DNA level. PhiEaP-8 retained lytic activity up to 50°C, within a pH range from 5 to 10, and under 365 nm UV light. Based on these characteristics, the bacteriophage phiEaP-8 is novel and carries potential to control both E. amylovora and E. pyrifoliae in apple and pear.
Journal: The Plant pathology journal