Characterization of a variant of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri that triggers a host-specific defense response

Phytopathology. 2013 Jun;103(6):555-64. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-11-12-0287-R.


Citrus is an economically important fruit crop that is severely afflicted by Asiatic citrus bacterial canker (CBC), a disease caused by the phytopathogen Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (X. citri). To gain insight into the molecular epidemiology of CBC, 42 Xanthomonas isolates were collected from a range of Citrus spp. across 17 different orchards in Tucumán, Argentina and subjected to molecular, biochemical, and pathogenicity tests. Analysis of genome-specific X. citri markers and DNA polymorphisms based on repetitive elements-based polymerase chain reaction showed that all 42 isolates belonged to X. citri. Interestingly, pathogenicity tests showed that one isolate, which shares >90% genetic similarity to the reference strain X. citri T, has host range specificity. This new variant of X. citri subsp. citri, named X. citri A(T), which is deficient in xanthan production, induces an atypical, noncankerous chlorotic phenotype in Citrus limon and C. paradisi and weak cankerous lesions in C. aurantifolia and C. clementina leaves. In C. limon, suppression of canker development is concomitant with an oxidative burst; xanthan is not implicated in the phenotype induced by this interaction, suggesting that other bacterial factors would be involved in triggering the defense response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Citrus / immunology*
  • Citrus / microbiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Plant Diseases / immunology*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Xanthomonas / physiology*


  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • xanthan gum