2019 Volume 34 Issue 2 Pages 136-145
Although Pantoea species are widely distributed among plants, water, soils, humans, and animals, due to a lack of efficient isolation methods, the clonality of Pantoea species is poorly characterized. Therefore, we developed a new semi-selective medium designated ‘lysine-ornithine-mannitol-arginine-charcoal’ (LOMAC) to isolate these species. In an inclusive and exclusive study examining 94 bacterial strains, all Pantoea strains exhibited yellow colonies on LOMAC medium. The performance of the medium was assessed using Pantoea-spiked soils. Percent average agreement relative to the Api20E biochemical test was 97%. A total of 24 soil spot samples and 19 plant types were subjected to practical trials. Of the 91 yellow colonies selected on LOMAC medium, 81 were correctly identified as Pantoea species using the biochemical test. The sequencing of 16S rRNA (rrs) and gyrB from these isolates confirmed that Pantoea agglomerans, P. vagans, P. ananatis, and P. deleyi were present in Japanese fields. A phylogenetic analysis using rrs enabled only the limited separation of strains within each Pantoea spp., whereas an analysis using gyrB revealed higher variability and enabled the finer resolution of distinct branches. P. agglomerans isolates were divided into 3 groups, 2 of which were new clades, with the other comprising a large group including biocontrol strains. P. vagans was also in one of the new clades. The present results indicate that LOMAC medium is useful for screening Pantoea species. The use of LOMAC medium will provide new opportunities for identifying the beneficial properties of Japanese Pantoea isolates.