A recent epiphytotic disease on citrus in Florida nurseries was caused by strains of with different host specificity and lower pathogenic capacities than those of previously described strains of pv. . The new strains were classified as pv. because they were isolated from rutaceous hosts and despite the fact that they caused a different disease than strains previously described in that pathovar. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses revealed that the Florida strains comprised a heterogeneous (E) group, interrelated with pv. pv. , and pv. . In contrast, the previously described strains of pv. formed two highly distinct, homogeneous (A and B/C/D) groups. Furthermore, the strains of pv. pv. pv. pv. pv. , and pv. tested were also distinctive and appeared to be only distantly related to one another and to all pv. strains. We concluded (i) that some pathovars are sufficiently distinct from the type strain of the species to be considered as separate species, (ii) that pv. group A and pv. (not including pv. var. ) represent distinctly separate subbranches of the genus and should be respectively reinstated to species as (ex Hasse) nom. rev. 3213 and (ex Smith) nom. rev. G27, and (iii) that the pv. B/C/D strains and the heterogeneous E strains should be respectively renamed pv. pv. nov. and pv. pv. nov.


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