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First Report of Xanthomonas citri pv. citri-A Causing Asiatic Citrus Canker in Mayotte

July 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  7
Pages  989.1 - 989.1

J. Hoarau, C. Boyer, K. Vital, T. Chesneau, C. Vernière, M. Roux-Cuvelier, and O. Pruvost, CIRAD, UMR PVBMT, Saint Pierre, La Réunion, F-97410, France; A. Moreau and B. Hostachy, Anses, Laboratoire de la Santé des Végétaux, Saint Pierre, La Réunion, F-97410, France; N. Yahaya, CAPAM, Mamoudzou, Mayotte, F-97600, France; and A. L. Abdoul-Karime, Direction de l'Alimentation, de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt de Mayotte, Mamoudzou, Mayotte, F-97600, France

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Accepted for publication 25 February 2013.

Asiatic citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri pv. citri, is a bacterial disease of major economic importance in tropical and subtropical citrus-producing areas. X. citri pv. citri pathotype A can cause severe infection in a wide range of citrus species and induces erumpent, callus-like lesions with water-soaked margins evolving to corky cankers and leading to premature fruit and leaf drop and twig dieback on susceptible/very susceptible cultivars. A chlorotic halo is typically visible around canker lesions on leaves and young fruit, but not on mature fruit and twigs. This quarantine organism can strongly impact both national and international citrus markets. Long distance dispersal is mainly through infected propagative material. Asiatic citrus canker occurs on most islands in the Southwest Indian Ocean region (Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues, and Seychelles islands), but was not yet reported in Mayotte (EPPO-PQR available at In May 2012, typical canker-like symptoms were observed on sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) groves on Mtsamboro islet and soon after on the main island of Mayotte, mostly on sweet oranges, but also on Tahiti limes (C. latifolia) and mandarins (C. reticulata). Eighty-one Xanthomonas-like strains were isolated using KC semi-selective medium (4) from disease samples collected from both commercial groves and nurseries on different Citrus species located all over the island. Sixteen Xanthomonas-like isolates were tentatively identified as X. citri pv. citri based on a specific PCR assay with 4/7 primers (3). All strains but the negative control, sterile water, produced an amplicon of the expected size similar to X. citri pv. citri strain IAPAR 306 used as positive control. Multilocus sequence analysis targeting six housekeeping genes (atpD, dnaK, efp, gltA, gyrB, and lepA) (1,2) fully identified three strains from Mayotte (LJ225-3, LJ228-1, and LJ229-11) as X. citri pv. citri (and not other xanthomonad pathovars pathogenic to citrus or host range-restricted pathotypes of pathovar citri), and more specifically as sequence type ST2 composed of pathotype A strains of X. citri pv. citri (2) (including all strains from the Southwest Indian Ocean region). Eight strains were inoculated by a detached leaf assay (2) to Mexican lime SRA 140 (C. aurantifolia), Tahiti lime SRA 58, sweet orange cv. Washington Navel, alemow SRA 779 (C. macrophylla), and tangor cv. Ortanique (C. reticulata × C. sinensis) and developed typical erumpent, callus-like tissue at wound sites for all Citrus species, fulfilling Koch's postulates. Xanthomonas-like yellow colonies were reisolated from symptoms produced by the eight strains inoculated on Mexican lime. Boiled bacterial suspensions were assayed by PCR with 4/7 primers (3) and produced the expected 468-bp amplicon in contrast with the negative control (sterile water). No lesions developed on the negative control consisting of inoculations by 10 mM tris buffer (pH 7.2). Citrus canker-free nurseries and grove sanitation should be implemented for decreasing the prevalence of Asiatic canker in this island territory.

References: (1) N. F. Almeida et al. Phytopathology 100:208, 2010. (2) L. Bui Thi Ngoc et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 60:515, 2010. (3) J. S. Hartung et al. Phytopathology 86:95, 1996. (4) O. Pruvost et al. J. Appl. Microbiol. 99:803, 2005.

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