Two Xylella fastidiosa genotypes associated with almond leaf scorch disease on the same location in California
Almond leaf scorch disease (ALSD) has recently reemerged in the San Joaquin Valley of California threatening almond production. ALSD is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a nutritionally fastidious bacterium. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) of X. jbstidiosa strains were identified to characterize the bacterial population in infected trees. Genotype-specific SNPs were used to design primers for multiplex polymerase chain reaction assays of early passage cultures. Two genotypically distinct types of X. jbstidiosa strains, G-type and A-type, coexist simultaneously in the same infected almond orchard. This was substantiated by restriction fragment length polymorphisin analysis of a different genetic locus, RST31-RST33, which has previously been used to identify and differentiate X. fastidiosa strains. Furthermore, unique bacterial colony morphology was consistently associated with the A-type X. fastidiosa strains. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a mixed genotype infection of X. fastidiosa disease on the same location under natural environmental conditions. The concept of mixed genotype infection could affect the current epidemiological study based on the assumption that one genotype causes ALSD on one location and, therefore, the disease management strategy.