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Variation in Albicidin Biosynthesis Genes and in Pathogenicity of Xanthomonas albilineans, the Sugarcane Leaf Scald Pathogen

January 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  1
Pages  33 - 45

P. Champoiseau , J.-H. Daugrois , J.-C. Girard , M. Royer , and P. C. Rott

First and second authors: CIRAD-CA, UPR Multiplication Végétative, Station de Roujol, 97170 Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe, French West Indies; and third, fourth, and fifth authors: UMR 385 AGRO.M-CIRAD-INRA Biologie et Génétique des Interactions Plante-Parasite, TA 41/K, Campus International de Baillarguet, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

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Accepted for publication 3 September 2005.

Total genomic DNA from 137 strains of Xanthomonas albilineans from worldwide locations was hybridized with two DNA probes that together harbor the entire 49-kb albicidin biosynthesis gene cluster and two additional 3-kb genomic regions required for albicidin production. Fourteen haplotypes and two major genetic groups (albicidin [ALB]-restriction fragment length polymorphism [RFLP] A and ALB-RFLP B) were identified, and strains that were isolated after recent outbreaks of leaf scald disease belonged to group ALB-RFLP B. Albicidin genetic diversity was very similar to the previously described genetic diversity of the pathogen based on the whole genome. No relationship was found between variability of albicidin biosynthesis genes and the amount of albicidin produced in vitro by X. albilineans. Leaf scald-susceptible sugarcane cv. H70-144 was inoculated with 20 strains of the pathogen belonging to different ALB-RFLP haplotypes. Among them, 10 strains from Guadeloupe belonged to the same ALB-RFLP group but differed in the amount of albicidin produced in vitro. Strains were distributed in at least three different pathogenicity groups based on symptom severity and pathogen population density in the stalk. These two pathogenicity factors varied concurrently; however, no relationship between variation in albicidin biosynthesis genes, variation in the amount of albicidin produced in vitro, and variation in pathogenicity of X. albilineans was found. Further investigation is necessary to identify other genes involved in pathogenicity of X. albilineans.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society