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High Variation in Pathogenicity of Genetically Closely Related Strains of Xanthomonas albilineans, the Sugarcane Leaf Scald Pathogen, in Guadeloupe

October 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  10
Pages  1,081 - 1,091

P. Champoiseau , J.-H. Daugrois , I. Pieretti , S. Cociancich , M. Royer , and P. Rott

First and second authors: Cirad, UPR Multiplication Végétative, Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe, F-97170 France; and third, fourth, fifth, and sixth authors: Cirad, UMR Agro.M-Cirad-Inra Biologie et Génétique des Interactions Plante-Parasite (BGPI), TA 41/K, Campus International de Baillarguet, Montpellier Cedex 5, F-34398 France

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Accepted for publication 1 May 2006.

Pathogenicity of 75 strains of Xanthomonas albilineans from Guadeloupe was assessed by inoculation of sugarcane cv. B69566, which is susceptible to leaf scald, and 19 of the strains were selected as representative of the variation in pathogenicity observed based on stalk colonization. In vitro production of albicidin varied among these 19 strains, but the restriction fragment length polymorphism pattern of their albicidin biosynthesis genes was identical. Similarly, no genomic variation was found among strains by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Some variation among strains was found by amplified fragment length polymorphism, but no relationship between this genetic variation and variation in pathogenicity was found. Only 3 (pilB, rpfA, and xpsE) of 40 genes involved in pathogenicity of bacterial species closely related to X. albilineans could be amplified by polymerase chain reaction from total genomic DNA of all nine strains tested of X. albilineans differing in pathogenicity in Guadeloupe. Nucleotide sequences of these genes were 100% identical among strains, and a phylogenetic study with these genes and housekeeping genes efp and ihfA suggested that X. albilineans is on an evolutionary road between the X. campestris group and Xylella fastidiosa, another vascular plant pathogen. Sequencing of the complete genome of Xanthomonas albilineans could be the next step in deciphering molecular mechanisms involved in pathogenicity of X. albilineans.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society