Genetic uniformity of international isolates of Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, causal agent of ratoon stunting disease of sugarcane

A. J. Young, L. A. Petrasovits, B. J. Croft, M. Gillings, S. M. Brumbley*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An international collection of the sugarcane ratoon stunting disease pathogen, Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, was analysed to assess genetic diversity. DNA fingerprinting using BOX primers was performed on 105 isolates, comprising 65 Australian isolates and an additional 40 isolates from Indonesia (n=8), Japan (n=1), USA (n=3), Brazil (n=2), Mali (n=2), Zimbabwe (n=13), South Africa (n=9) and Réunion (n=2). Sixty-two of these isolates were also screened using ERIC primers. No variation was found among any of the isolates. The intergenic spacer (IGS) region of the ribosomal RNA genes from 54 isolates was screened for sequence variation using single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP), but none was observed. Direct sequencing of the IGS from a subset of nine isolates, representing all of the countries sampled in this study, confirmed the results of the SSCP analysis. Likewise, no sequence variation was found in the 16S ribosomal RNA genes of the same subset. Four Colombian isolates from sugarcane, morphologically similar to L. xyli subsp. xyli, were putatively shown to be an undescribed Agrococcus species of unknown pathogenicity. The lack of genetic variation among L. xyli subsp. xyli isolates, independent of time of sampling, cultivar of isolation, or country of origin, suggests the worldwide spread of a single pathogenic clone, and further suggests that sugarcane cultivars resistant to ratoon stunting disease in one area should retain this property in other regions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)503-511
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralasian Plant Pathology
    Volume35
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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