Evidence for conserved tRNA genes in the 16S-23S rDNA spacer sequence and two rrn operons of Xylella fastidiosa
The 16S-23S rDNA spacer of the type strain (ATCC 35879) of Xylella fastidiosa was amplified by PCR, cloned, and sequenced. The spacer sequence (455 bp) contains two tRNA (tRNA(ala) and tRNA(ile)) genes. Identical tRNA genes were also found in the 16S-23S spacer sequences of all the 51 strains of X. fastidiosa retrieved from the GenBank database. At this particular locus, the gene order of tRNA(ala) - tRNA(ile) is conserved among all the studied strains of Xylella and Xanthomonas, and different from those of other bacteria. Sequence analysis showed that Xanthomonas is the most closely related genus. Results from restriction endonuclease analysis suggested the presence of two rrn operons in the genome of a Xylella fastidiosa Pierce's disease strain.