Summary: pv. () is the causative agent of cassava bacterial blight (CBB), a worldwide disease that is particularly destructive in South America and Africa. CBB is controlled essentially through the use of resistant varieties. To develop an appropriate disease management strategy, the genetic diversity of the pathogen's populations must be assessed. Until now, the genetic diversity of was characterized by RFLP analyses using ribotyping, and plasmid and genomic probes. We used AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism), a novel PCR-based technique, to characterize the genetic diversity of Colombian isolates. Six strains were tested with 65 AFLP primer combinations to identify the best selective primers. Eight primer combinations were selected according to their reproducibility, number of polymorphic bands and polymorphism detected between strains. Forty-seven strains, originating from different Colombian ecozones, were analysed with the selected combinations. Results obtained with AFLP are consistent with those obtained with RFLP, using plasmid DNA as a probe. Some primer combinations differentiated strains that were not distinguished by RFLP analyses, thus AFLP fingerprinting allowed a better definition of the genetic relationships between strains.


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