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Multilocus Sequence Typing Reveals Two Evolutionary Lineages of Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli

August 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  8
Pages  913 - 920

Jianjun Feng, Erin L. Schuenzel, Jianqiang Li, and Norman W. Schaad

First and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China; second and fourth authors: United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, Ft. Detrick, MD, 21702. J. Feng and E. L. Schuenzel contributed equally to this work.

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Accepted for publication 11 April 2009.

Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli, causal agent of bacterial fruit blotch, has caused considerable damage to the watermelon and melon industry in China and the United States. Understanding the emergence and spread of this pathogen is important for controlling the disease. To build a fingerprinting database for reliable identification and tracking of strains of A. avenae subsp. citrulli, a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme was developed using seven conserved loci. The study included 8 original strains from the 1978 description of A. avenae subsp. citrulli, 51 from China, and 34 from worldwide collections. Two major clonal complexes (CCs), CC1 and CC2, were identified within A. avenae subsp. citrulli; 48 strains typed as CC1 and 45 as CC2. All eight original 1978 strains isolated from watermelon and melon grouped in CC1. CC2 strains were predominant in the worldwide collection and all but five were isolated from watermelon. In China, a major seed producer for melon and watermelon, the predominant strains were CC1 and were found nearly equally on melon and watermelon.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2009