Genetic diversity of 'Cadidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' strains in the United States and Mexico revealed by simple sequence repeat markers
'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' is associated with the Zebra Chip (ZC) disorder of potatoes. A panel of eight simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers was developed and used to genetically characterize 'Ca. L. solanacearum' strains obtained from ZC-affected potato plants in the United States and Mexico. The multilocus SSR markers in this study effectively differentiated genotypes and estimated genetic diversity of 'Ca. L. solanacearum' strains. Genotype assignment analyses identified two major lineages of 'Ca. L. solanacearum' in the North American populations while only one lineage type was identified in Mexican population. No clear genetic structure was found among haplotypes based on geographical proximity or host. The high resolution power of the SSR marker system developed in this study provides a useful tool for genotyping closely related strains and tracking sources of the pathogen. Genotype information combined with epidemiological data will advance knowledge of ZC disease and will facilitate development of effective disease management.