, Volume 104, Issue 5, pp 477-487

Characterization of phenotypically distinct strains of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri from Southwest Asia

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Abstract

Strains of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri were isolated from Mexican lime (Citrus aurantifolia) trees in several countries in southwest Asia. These strains produced typical erumpent bacterial canker lesions on Mexican lime but not on grapefruit (C. paradisi). Lesions on grapefruit were watersoaked and blister-like in contrast to the typical erumpent lesions seen after artificial inoculation with all described pathotypes of X. axonopodis pv. citri. This group of strains hydrolysed gelatin and casein and grew in the presence of 3% NaCl as is typical of X. axonopodis pv. citri pathotype A. RFLP analyses and DNA probe hybridization assays also gave results consistent with X. axonopodis pv. citri pathotype A. Metabolic fingerprints prepared with the Biolog® system showed similarities as well as differences to X. axonopodis pv. citri pathotype A. In spite of the physiological and genetic similarities to pathotype A of X. axonopodis pv. citri, these strains had no or very little affinity for polyclonal antiserum prepared against any of the reference strains of X. axonopodis pv. citri and also did not react with monoclonal antibody A1, an antibody that detects all strains of pathotype A of X. axonopodis pv. citri. These strains were also insensitive to bacteriophage Cp3 like X. axonopodis pv. citri pathotype A and unlike X. axonopodis pv. citri pathotype B. We conclude that these strains, designated Xcc-A*, represent a variant of X. axonopodis pv. citri pathotype-A with pathogenicity limited to C. aurantifolia. The existence of extensive genotypic and phenotypic variation within pathotype A of X. axonopodis pv. citri was unexpected and further complicates the systematics of this species.