Survey for Streptomycin Resistance in Fire Blight Bacteria

Streptomycin has been used to control fire blight in Ontario commercial pear and apple orchards since the 1960s.  This leads to the question, “Do the local isolates of the bacterium (Erwinia amylovora) carry genes for streptomycin resistance?”.

We are conducting a nationwide survey to determine the presence or absence of streptomycin resistance in Canadian orchards.   Growers can help by submitting 4-8 randomly collected shoots that show the typical shepherd’s crook.

shepherd's crook

The cut in the shoot should be made in the green healthy tissue that is well below the necrotic dead tissue, at least 6 inches.  We will isolate the bacterium from the transition zone (black necrotic to green) in the woody tissue.  Remove the leaves and place the shoots in an envelope or paper bag. Please record the sample cultivar and orchard location (city).  Grower contact information may also be included for a report of the results.  The samples will be coded in the laboratory so that all information remains confidential.

Location for cut

Samples may be dropped off at or mailed to:

Kinga Bodnar or A.M. Svircev

Strep Survey


P.O. Box 6000

4902 Victoria Avenue, North

Vineland Station, Ontario

L0R 2E0

Alternatively, arrangements can be made for pick up by calling 905-562-2034.

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