Specific characters of 16S rRNA gene and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer sequences of Xylella fastidiosa pear leaf scorch strains
Pear leaf scorch, the only Xylella fastidiosa-induced disease reported from Taiwan, was found in area where the variety Hengshan (Pyrus pyrifolia) was grown. Strains of pear leaf scorch Xyl. fastidiosa (XF-PLS) shared similarities to strains of other host origins in the requirement of complex medium and the exhibition of rippled cell walls, however, recent serological and molecular biology studies showed difference among them. Five strains of XF-PLS were compared with 20 other strains originally isolated from almond, oleander, pecan, plum, peach, mulberry, grapes, citrus, coffee, and sycamore by sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA gene and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS). When sequences of 16S rRNA gene based on fragment size of 1,537-1,540 bp were compared, the similarity index among 5 XF-PLS strains was 99.3-99.8%, whereas it was 97.8-98.6% between XF-PLS strains and strains from other hosts. When sequences of 16S-23S rRNA ITS based on fragment size of 510-540 bp were compared, the similarity index among 5 XF-PLS strains was 99.0-100%, whereas it was 80.7-82% between XF-PLS strains and strains from other hosts. Multiple sequence alignments led to the identification of 5 polymorphic nucleotides in the 16S rRNA gene among the 25 Xyl. fastidiosa strains, and there were considerable variations in the nucleotide sequences of 16S-23S rRNA ITS between XF-PLS and the other 20 Xyl. fastidiosa strains. The phylogenetic trees revealed that XF-PLS strains were separated from strains of other hosts. Strains of other hosts were divided into four subgroups: strains from (1) oleander, (2) grape, almond M23 and mulberry, (3) citrus and coffee, and (4) pecan, peach, plum, sycamore and almond M12. Results indicate that XF-PLS strains were not closely related to the above-mentioned strains from other hosts and could possibly belong to a new subspecies of Xyl. fastidiosa.