Genomic characterization of a liberibacter present in an ornamental rutaceous tree, Calodendrum capense, in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Proposal of 'Candidatus Liberibacter africanus subsp. capensis'.
In 1994, the uncultured phloem-restricted bacteria of citrus huanglongbing (ex-greening) disease in Asia and Africa were characterized as 'Candidatus Liberobacter asiaticum' and 'Candidatus Liberobacter africanum', respectively. Following the rules of the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria, the two bacterial species have now been renamed 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' and 'Candidatus Liberibacter africanus'. A third liberibacter was detected by PCR in an ornamental rutaceous tree, Cape chestnut (Calodendrum capense), in South Africa. The new liberibacter was characterized by serology and from the sequences of its 16S rDNA, intergenic 16S/23S rDNA and ribosomal protein genes of the β operon. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the liberibacter present in C. capense differed from the two previously described liberibacter species from citrus and that it was more closely related to 'Candidatus Liberibacter africanus' than to 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus'. It is proposed that the liberibacter from C. capense be assigned a subspecies status, 'Candidatus Liberibacter africanus subsp. capensis'.