Query: NC_013961:2579000 Erwinia amylovora, complete genome Lineage: Erwinia amylovora; Erwinia; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This bacterium is the causative agent of Fire Blight, a destructive disease of Maloid fruit trees, such as apple and pear. Outbreaks are sporadic in the Northeast, but result in serious damage to roots, blossoms, fruit, and shoots when they occur. The pathogen overwinters in cankers or in smaller limbs. During early spring, in response to both temperature increases and bud development, the bacteria multiplies and may be seen as a yellowish ooze around the perimeter of the canker. Flies and other insects are attracted to the ooze and disperse the inoculum to other trees in the orchard. This species has recently become resistant to streptomycin, an antibiotic traditionally used in its control.
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General Information: This organism was first isolated from the soil in Vineland, New Jersey, although it is found worldwide. It is a large obligate aerobe that has one of the highest respiratory rates of any organism. Azotobacter vinelandii also produces a number of unusual nitrogenases which allow it to fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, a compound it can then use as a nitrogen source. It protects the oxygen-sensitive nitrogenase enzymes through its high respiratory rate, which sequesters the nitrogenase complexes in an anoxic environment. This organism has a number of unusual characteristics. Under extreme environmental conditions, the cell will produce a cyst that is resistant to dessication and is surrounded by two capsular polysaccharide layers. This organism produces two industrially important polysaccharides, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and alginate. PHB is a thermoplastic biopolymer, and alginate is used in the food industry. Alginate is also used by the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.