A total of 61 strains, including members of all five currently described pathogenicity groups of pv. citri (groups A, B, C, D, and E) and representing a broad geographical diversity, were compared by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole-cell proteins, gas chromatographic analysis of fatty acid methyl esters, and DNA-DNA hybridization. We found that all of the pathogenicity groups were related to each other at levels of DNA binding of more than 60%, indicating that they all belong to one species. Our results do not confirm a previous reclassification of pathogens isolated from citrus in two separate species (Gabriel et al., Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 39:14-22, 1989). Pathogenicity groups A and E could be clearly delineated by the three methods used, and group A was the most homogeneous group. The delineation of pathogenicity groups B, C, and D was not clear on the basis of the results of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of proteins and gas chromatography of fatty acid methyl esters, although these groups constituted a third subgroup on the basis of the DNA homology results.


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