Genotypic analysis of Xylella fastidiosa isolates from different hosts using sequences homologous to the Xanthomonas rpf genes

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This is the first report of a genotypic analysis of the phytopathogenic bacteria Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) using differences within intra- and intergenic regions of pathogenic genes. Orthologous sequences from the genome of Xf were identified for genes involved in the regulation of pathogenicity factors (rpf) from Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). While the rpf genes were conserved, the chromosomal region revealed differences in gene sizes and intergenic spacings and a major translocational event when compared to Xcc. Primers were designed to amplify three regions: the intragenic region of rpfA (2354 bp), the intergenic region between rpfA and rpfB (5772 bp), and the intergenic region between rpfC and rpfF (2314 bp). Amplicons were obtained for all three regions from 32 of the 33 Xf isolates tested from citrus, grape, coffee, plum, hibiscus and periwinkle. Three Xcc isolates from cruciferous plants only generated PCR products for the rpfC-F region. Cleaved amplified polymorphic sequences (CAPS) (Taq(alpha)l) revealed differential banding profiles for the rpfA-B and rpfC-F regions. Xylella isolates were separated into seven groups via rpfA-B, of which five contained only citrus, while the other two had citrus, grape and coffee, and citrus, coffee, plum and hibiscus isolates. rpfC-F separated the isolates into three host-related groups. Citrus, coffee and hibiscus isolates formed one group, while the other two groups were comprised solely of grape and plum isolates. Xcc isolates formed an out-group. In silico analysis supports these results, which reveal the potential of the rpf genes for genotypic analysis of Xylella fastidiosa.


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  • Xylella fastidiosa