The Use of ARMS PCR in Detection and Identification of Xanthomonads Associated with Pistachio Dieback in Australia
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Pistachio dieback occurs in the main pistachio growing areas of Australia. Xanthomonas strains belonging to the translucens group have been identified as the causal agent of the disease and two distinct groups, A and B, have been recognised within the pathogen population. In this study, specific primers for amplification of DNA of the pathogen were developed by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region of rDNA from strains representing groups A and B, as well as from X. translucens isolated from wheat in Australia and one Xanthomonas translucens strain from orchard floor grasses. Primers were designed for amplification of DNA sequences specific to each group and a multiplex PCR test was developed that identified and differentiated strains of each group in a single PCR assay. To determine the specificity of the primers, PCR was carried out with DNA from 65 strains of the pistachio pathogen, 31 type and reference strains of Xanthomonas, and from 191 phytobacteria commonly found in and around pistachio orchards. In the multiplex PCR, a 331 bp fragment was amplified from all strains belonging to group A and a 120 bp fragment from all strains in group B. No PCR products were obtained from the other bacteria tested except for the type strain of X. translucens pv. cerealis, which has not been found in Australia. The assay was used to detect strains from both groups of the pathogen in pistachio plant material.
Keywords16S–23S rDNA sequencing Multiplex-PCR Xanthomonas translucens
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