Xylella fastidiosa subspecies: X-fastidiosa subsp piercei, subsp nov., X-fastidiosa subsp multiplex subsp. nov., and X-fastidiosa subsp pauca subsp nov.
Xylella fastidiosa, a fastidious bacterium Causing disease in over 100 plant species, is classified as a single species, although genetic studies support multiple taxons. To determine the taxonomic relatedness among strains of X. fastidiosa, we conducted DNA-DNA relatedness assays and sequenced the 16S-23S intergenic spacer (ITS) region using 26 strains from 10 hosts. Under stringent conditions (T-m -15 degreesC), the DNA relatedness for most X. fastidiosa strains was *70%. However, at high stringency (T-m -8 degreesC), three distinct genotypes (A, B, and C) were revealed. Taxon A included strains from cultivated grape, alfalfa, almond (two), and maple, interrelated by 85% (mean); taxon B included strains from peach, elm, plum, pigeon grape, sycamore, and almond (one), interrelated by 84%; and taxon C included only strains from citrus, interrelated by 87%. The mean reciprocal relatedness between taxons A and B, A and C, and B and C, were 58, 41, and 45%, respectively. ITS results also indicated the same grouping; taxons A and B, A and C, and B and C had identities of 98.7, 97.9, and 99.2%, respectively. Previous and present phenotypic data supports the molecular data. Taxon A strains grow faster on Pierce's disease agar medium whereas B and C strains grow more slowly. Taxon B and C strains are susceptible to penicillin and resistant to carbenicillin whereas A strains are opposite. Each taxon can be differentiated serologically as well as by structural proteins. We propose taxons A, B, and C be named X. fastidiosa subsp. piercei, subsp. nov, subsp. multiplex, subsp. nov., and subsp. pauca, subsp. nov., respectively. The type strains of the subspecies are subsp. piercei ICPB 50025 (=ATTC 35879(T) and ICMP 15197), subsp. multiplex ICPB 50039 (= ATTC 35871 and ICMP 15199), and subsp. pauca ICPB 50031 (= ICMP 15198).