First, second, and third authors: Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Parlier, CA 93648; fourth author: University of California Cooperative Extension, Bakersfield 93307; fifth author: University of California Cooperative Extension, Fresno 93702, and sixth author: Your-Way Consulting, Fresno, CA 93729
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Accepted for publication 16 February 2005.
Almond leaf scorch disease (ALSD) has recently reemerged in the San Joaquin Valley of California threatening almond production. ALSD is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a nutritionally fastidious bacterium. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) of X. fastidiosa strains were identified to characterize the bacterial population in infected trees. Genotype-specific SNPs were used to design primers for multiplex polymerase chain reaction assays of early passage cultures. Two genotypically distinct types of X. fastidiosa strains, G-type and A-type, coexist simultaneously in the same infected almond orchard. This was substantiated by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of a different genetic locus, RST31-RST33, which has previously been used to identify and differentiate X. fastidiosa strains. Furthermore, unique bacterial colony morphology was consistently associated with the A-type X. fastidiosa strains. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a mixed genotype infection of X. fastidiosa disease on the same location under natural environmental conditions. The concept of mixed genotype infection could affect the current epidemiological study based on the assumption that one genotype causes ALSD on one location and, therefore, the disease management strategy.
The American Phytopathological Society, 2005