Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Differentiation in MALDI-TOF MS and FTIR spectra between two closely related species Acidovorax oryzae and Acidovorax citrulli

Yanli Wang12, Qing Zhou1, Bin Li1*, Baoping Liu1, Guoxing Wu3, Muhammad Ibrahim1, Guanlin Xie1, Hongye Li1 and Guochang Sun2

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310029, China

2 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Zhejiang Sustainable Pest and Disease Control, Institute of Plant Protection and Microbiology, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, 310021, China

3 College of Plant Protection, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, 650201, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:182  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-182

Published: 18 August 2012



Two important plant pathogenic bacteria Acidovorax oryzae and Acidovorax citrulli are closely related and often not easy to be differentiated from each other, which often resulted in a false identification between them based on traditional methods such as carbon source utilization profile, fatty acid methyl esters, and ELISA detection tests. MALDI-TOF MS and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra have recently been successfully applied in bacterial identification and classification, which provide an alternate method for differentiating the two species.


Characterization and comparison of the 10 A. oryzae strains and 10 A. citrulli strains were performed based on traditional bacteriological methods, MALDI-TOF MS, and FTIR spectroscopy. Our results showed that the identity of the two closely related plant pathogenic bacteria A. oryzae and A. citrulli was able to be confirmed by both pathogenicity tests and species-specific PCR, but the two species were difficult to be differentiated based on Biolog and FAME profile as well as 16 S rRNA sequence analysis. However, there were significant differences in MALDI-TOF MS and FTIR spectra between the two species of Acidovorax. MALDI-TOF MS revealed that 22 and 18 peaks were specific to A. oryzae and A. citrulli, respectively, while FTIR spectra of the two species of Acidovorax have the specific peaks at 1738, 1311, 1128, 1078, 989 cm-1 and at 1337, 968, 933, 916, 786 cm-1, respectively.


This study indicated that MALDI-TOF MS and FTIR spectra may give a new strategy for rapid bacterial identification and differentiation of the two closely related species of Acidovorax.