A polymerase chain reaction protocol for the detection of Clavibacter xyli subsp. xyli, the causal bacterium of sugarcane ratoon stunting disease.
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol was developed that specifically detected C. xyli subsp. xyli, the causal agent of sugarcane ratoon stunting disease. Generic PCR products from the intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region of 16S-23S ribosomal DNA of C. xyli subsp. xyli and C. xyli subsp. cynodontis were cloned and sequenced. Based on a multiple sequence alignment among these 2 sequences and other nonredundant highly homologous sequences from the database, 2 C. xyli subsp. xyli-specific PCR primers were designed, Cxx1 (5′ CCGAAGTGAGCAGATTGACC) and Cxx2 (5′ ACCCTGTGTTGTTTTCAACG). These 2 20-mer oligonucleotides primed the specific amplification of a 438-bp DNA product from genomic DNA samples of 21 C. xyli subsp. xyli strains. Amplification was not observed with genomic DNA of 1 C. xyli subsp. cynodontis strain, 5 strains of 4 other Clavibacter species and 2 strains of 2 Rathayibacter species. The 438-bp PCR product also was amplified directly from cultured C. xyli subsp. xyli cells and from C. xyli subsp. xyli-infected sugarcane vascular sap with a unique reaction buffer containing polyvinylpyrrolidone and ficoll. Extraction of genomic DNA was not necessary prior to PCR assay.