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Genetic Diversity and Pathogenicity of the Grass Pathogen Xanthomonas translucens pv. graminis

  • R. Kölliker
  • R. Krähenbühl
  • F. X. Schubiger
  • F. Widmer
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Plant Breeding book series (DIPB, volume 11)

Abstract

Bacterial wilt, caused by Xanthomonas translucens pv graminis (Xtg), is one of the most serious diseases of forage grasses throughout Europe, the USA and Australasia. Breeding of resistant cultivars is the only practical measure for controlling the disease in grasslands. Knowledge on genetic diversity and pathogenicity of the prevailing pathogen isolates is indispensable for efficient resistance breeding. Forty-five isolates collected throughout Switzerland were genetically characterised together with reference isolates using 16S ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) sequencing and AFLP analysis. Pathogenicity of selected isolates was investigated by artificial inoculation of three Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) cultivars with different levels of resistance to bacterial wilt. 16S rDNA sequencing allowed the identification of a DNA signature specific for Xtg and closely related isolates. Cluster analysis based on 16S rDNA grouped most of the collected Xtg isolates in a single cluster with only minor sequence differences between the individual isolates. AFLP analysis proved highly effective for detecting genetic differences between Xtg isolates. However, the observed genetic diversity among the Xtg isolates was relatively small and several identical isolates, collected from different locations and various host species were identified. Artificial inoculation revealed significant differences in pathogenicity between some of the isolates tested. Most of the isolates showed medium to high pathogenicity which was congruent with the moderate genetic diversity detected through AFLP analysis. The method presented provides a valuable tool for the selection of Xtg isolates particularly suited for resistance breeding based on inoculation with standardised Xtg strains.

Key words

16s rDNA AFLP molecular markers bacterial wilt forage grasses Lolium multiflorum Lam 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kölliker
    • 1
  • R. Krähenbühl
    • 1
  • F. X. Schubiger
    • 1
  • F. Widmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and AgricultureFAL-ReckenholzZurichSwitzerland

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