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[This article belongs to Volume - 57, Issue - 02]

Abstract : Potato (Solanum tuberosum L) is a staple food considered as key factor in food and nutritional security, especially in developing countries and it is the target of many phyto-bacteriosis. Pectinolytic bacteria, responsible for blackleg disease and soft rot, are among the most destructive bacterial diseases in this crop worldwide. The present study is a substantial contribution to the survey of occurrence of pectinolytic Soft Rot Enterobacteriaceae (SRE) in Algeria. Isolation and identification of local strains were performed on potato plants recovered from EL-Harrouch district (north-east Algeria). Eight bacterial isolates were found to be pectinolytic, forming on King B medium, iridescent colonies, with smooth appearance and creamy white color. These strains produce deep cavities characteristic of pectinolytic SRE on highly selective medium Crystal Violet Pectate (CVP). All isolates are Gram-negative, motile, having catalase and devoid of oxidase. In addition, their biochemical characterizations, namely the reduction of nitrates to nitrites, an oxidative/fermentative metabolism and the non-hydrolysis of starch seem comparable to the SRE pectinolytic referenced strains. All isolates cause soft rot symptoms on potato slices (Spunta variety, known for its resistance). Finally these 8 pectinolytic isolates showed hypersensitivity reactions on tobacco leaves. This finding is the first report for isolation and identification of SRE causing blackleg and soft rot disease of potato in eastern Algeria as a contribution to the epidemiological inventory of the region.