Evaluation of the genetic structure of Xylella fastidiosa populations from different Citrus sinensis varieties
Xylella fastidiosa was isolated from sweet orange plants (Citrus sinensis) grown in two orchards in the northwest region of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. One orchard was part of a germ plasm field plot used for studies of citrus variegated chlorosis resistance, while the other was an orchard of C. sinensis ev. Pera clones. These two collections of strains were genotypically characterized by using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) markers. The genetic diversity (H-T) values of X. fastidiosa were similar for both sets of strains; however, H-TRAPD values were substantially lower than H-TVNTR values. The analysis of six strains per plant allowed us to identify up to three RAPD and five VNTR multilocus haplotypes colonizing one plant. Molecular analysis of variance was used to determine the extent to which population structure explained the genetic variation observed. The genetic variation observed in the X. fastidiosa strains was not related to or dependent on the different sweet orange varieties from which they had been obtained. A significant amount of the observed genetic variation could be explained by the variation between strains from different plants within the orchards and by the variation between strains within each plant. It appears, therefore, that the existence of different sweet orange varieties does not play a role in the population structure of X. fastidiosa. The consequences of these results for the management of sweet orange breeding strategies for citrus variegate chlorosis resistance are also discussed.