Outbreaks of acute oak decline (AOD) have been documented in England from 2006. Both species of native oaks (Quercus robur
and Quercus petraea
) are affected. To complement isolation efforts for identification of putative causative biotic agents and increase our understanding of bacteria associated with oak tissue, five sites in England were chosen for this study. Samples of outer bark, inner bark, sapwood and heartwood were taken from healthy oak and trees with symptoms at varying stages of the syndrome. Furthermore, larval galleries attributed to infestation with Agrilus biguttatus
were included. After DNA extraction and amplification of the V3–V5 fragment of the bacterial 16S rRNA genes by pyrosequencing, the dataset was analyzed to identify patterns in bacterial communities in oak tissue samples with and without AOD symptoms at each site. The composition of bacterial communities differed greatly according to the site from which the samples were obtained. Within each site, the composition of the bacteria associated with symptomatic tissue varied between advanced stages of the syndrome and healthy tissue. Key players in healthy and symptomatic tissue were identified and included members of the Gammaproteobacteria related to Pseudomonas
sp. or Brenneria goodwinii
and members of the Firmicutes.
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