DOI: 10.1111/ppa.13844 ISSN: 0032-0862

Xanthomonas species causing leaf blight on eucalypt plants in Brazil and transfer of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. eucalyptorum to Xanthomonas citri pv. eucalyptorum comb. nov.

Hélvio Gledson Maciel Ferraz, Jorge Luis Badel, Yane Fernandes Neves, Ana Carolina Lopes Eloi, Pedro Marcus Pereira Vidigal, Lúcio Mauro da Silva Guimarães, Acelino Couto Alfenas
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


Outbreaks of bacterial leaf blight (BLB) frequently affect eucalypt plants under nursery and field conditions in several countries. Although research has been conducted to unveil the causal agent, different bacterial species have been associated with similar disease symptoms in different countries. In order to determine the causal agent of BLB in Brazil, a survey was conducted in nine states to recover bacterial isolates from eucalypt plants exhibiting typical BLB symptoms. A total of 41 yellow‐colony isolates with varying aggressiveness towards a susceptible eucalypt clone were obtained, with 16S rDNA sequences indicating that they belong to the Xanthomonas genus. Rep‐PCR analysis separated the Xanthomonas population affecting eucalypt into six distinct groups revealing its high genetic diversity. The same population formed three clusters together with reference strains of X. citri, X. euvesicatoria and X. phaseoli in a phylogenetic tree constructed with partial dnaK, fyuA, gyrB and rpoD gene sequences. Clustering in the phylogenetic tree was clearly related to grouping based on rep‐PCR. Genome sequence comparisons of representative eucalypt isolates with type strains of validly published Xanthomonas species confirmed that the population consisted of X. citri, X. euvesicatoria and X. phaseoli. Inoculation of tomato, common bean, castor bean and eucalypt plants showed that the representative eucalypt isolates can cause disease in these plant species. Based on the results, the transfer of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. eucalyptorum to Xanthomonas citri is proposed. These results are relevant for eucalypt BLB management under nursery and field conditions, including selection and deployment of effective plant resistance.

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