Lethal Yellowing (LY) disease causes major damage to palms in Central America and the Caribbean. It has been reported as far south as Antigua (Myrie et al., 2014). LY affects over forty palm species, seriously impacts the coconut industry and alters the landscapes on islands with a tourist-based economy. In March 2021, the presence of LY disease was regularly monitored in Guadeloupe. Two palm species (Cocos nucifera and Pritchardia sp.) died on a private property in Saint-Anne, Grande Terre. Yellowing of lower fronds and necrosis of inflorescences were reported on some neighboring palms. One symptomatic Cocos nucifera (GP21-007) and four symptomatic Pritchardia sp. (GP21-005, GP21-006, GP21-008 and GP21-009) were sampled by stem drilling. Samples from four asymptomatic coconut trees (GP21-001 to GP21-004) were collected in the locality of Deshaies. DNA was extracted from the nine sawdust samples following a cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) modified protocol (Doyle and Doyle, 1990). A quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), following the protocol described by Christensen et al. (2004), was performed on DNA to diagnose the presence of phytoplasmas. An exponential amplification was observed for all DNA extracts from symptomatic palm samples (threshold number of PCR cycles (Ct) ranged from 18.50 to 23.58). DNA from asymptomatic samples yielded negative results (undetermined Ct). To identify the phytoplasma associated with LY, DNA samples were subjected to PCR, based on the 16SrRNA gene, plus internal transcribed spacers (ITS) using P1-1T (Pilet et al., 2021)/P7 (Schneider et al., 1995) primers, and secA gene using the primer pair secAFor1/secARev1 (Hodgetts et al. 2008). Amplicons of 1.8 kb covering the 16S ribosomal operon and 830 bp for the secA gene were produced using DNA from symptomatic trees. All amplicons were double strand sequenced (Genewiz, UK). The corresponding sequences were deposited in GenBank and subjected to BLASTn on NCBI. Sequences of the ribosomal operon gene (accession no. ON521114 to ON521118) were identical for the five positive samples. Sequencing revealed two distinct ribosomal operons with heterozygous peaks on the DNA chromatogram. The first aMino ambiguity (M = Adenine or Cytosine) was observed in the 16Sr RNA gene. The second was observed in the first intergenic transcript spacer. The 16S rDNA sequence (M = Cytosine) presented 100% identity with accession no. HQ613874 and 99.93% with accession no. U18747, the reference sequence for 'Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae'. The virtual RFLP pattern derived from the 16S rDNA F2nR2 fragment and identified using iPhyclassifier (Zhao et al. 2009) was identical to the reference pattern for the 16SrIV-A subgroup. A unique sequence was obtained for the partial secA gene (OP136139 to OP136143), sharing 100% identity with EU267187 for the palm LY phytoplasma preprotein translocase subunit (secA) gene. This is the first report of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma palmae’ (subgroup 16SrIV-A) associated with palm LY disease on Cocos nucifera and Pritchardia sp. in Guadeloupe. Measures to eradicate LY were implemented as soon as its presence was confirmed in Guadeloupe. LY phytoplasmas continue to spread in the Caribbean and are approaching South America, where the known vector, Haplaxius crudus, has already been reported (Silva et al., 2019). This poses a major threat to the coconut economy and the diversity of palm trees.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ is an economically important pathogen in the Americas, New Zealand and Europe. The primary objective of this review is to systematically investigate the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods used for its detection in plant samples. Several databases were searched from the inception of the relevant literature up to August 2018. This review identified 53 studies that met all the inclusion criteria. The performance of the different methods was also compared, however due to data heterogeneity and insufficient evidence on the sensitivity of all assays used, a meta-analysis of the data was not possible. Nonetheless, the review indicates that the rtPCR designed to the 16S ribosomal RNA gene can be routinely employed as a fast, cost-effective, and reliable detection technique in diagnostic laboratories.
Abstract‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) has emerged as a serious threat on solanaceous and apiaceous crops worldwide. Five Lso haplotypes (LsoA, LsoB, LsoC, LsoD and LsoE) have been identified so far. To decipher genetic relationships between Lso strains, a MLSA study of seven housekeeping genes (acnA, atpD, ftsZ, glnA, glyA, gnd and groEL) was performed on a representative bacterial collection of 49 Lso strains. In all, 5415 bp spanning the seven loci were obtained from each of the 49 strains of our bacterial collection. Analysis of sequence data was consistent with a clonal population structure with no evidence of recombination. Phylogenies reconstructed from individual genes, and with concatenated data, were globally congruent with each other. In addition to the five highly supported and distinct genetic clusters, which correspond to the five established haplotypes, our phylogenetic data revealed the presence of a sixth haplotype, designated ‘LsoG’. This new haplotype is currently represented by two strains from France which had distinct sequences in four out of the seven tested housekeeping genes. Altogether, the data presented here provide new information regarding the genetic structure of Lso and the evolutionary history of the haplotypes defined within this bacterial species.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ is a bacterium associated with several vegetative disorders on solanaceous and apiaceous crops. Following the recent detection of the bacterium in carrots in Europe, and particularly carrot plants used for seed production in France, two independent laboratories conducted experiments on the transmission of this pathogen by seed and had discordant results: one study showed no bacterial transmission to plants, and the other showed transmission to carrot seedlings starting from the fourth month of culture. To test the hypothesis that growing conditions affect seed transmission efficiencies, trials were renewed in 2015 on four lots of 500 carrot seeds naturally contaminated with ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ and two lots of 100 healthy seeds. The plants were grown for 6 months in an insect-proof NS2 greenhouse. Sets of 108 plants from the contaminated lots and 24 plants from the healthy lots were individually analyzed each month using real-time PCR to detect the bacterium. The detection tests on seeds and plants from healthy lots were always negative. During the 6 months of the trial, no plants from the contaminated seed lots tested positive for the bacterium or showed any infection symptoms. These results indicate that transmission of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ by carrot seed is rare and difficult to reproduce.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) is an emerging phytopathogenic bacterium that causes significant crop losses worldwide. This bacterium has been identified in association with diseases of several solanaceous crops in the United States and New Zealand, and with carrot and celery crops in several European countries. Five Lso haplotypes (LsoA, LsoB, LsoC, LsoD, and LsoE) have now been described worldwide. In France, symptoms of Lso were observed on plants of the Apiaceae family in several regions. One hundred and ninety-two samples of apiaceous plants were collected from 2012 to 2016 in different geographical regions and were tested for the occurrence of Lso by real-time PCR assay. In addition to carrot and celery, Lso was detected in four other apiaceous crops: chervil, fennel, parsley, and parsnip. These new findings suggest that Lso has a wider natural host range within the Apiaceae family than expected. To identify the Lso haplotypes present in France, we sequenced and analyzed the 16S rRNA gene and the 50S ribosomal protein rpIJ-rpIL gene region from a representative bacterial collection of 44 Lso-positive samples. Our SNP analysis revealed the occurrence of two distinct bacterial lineages that correspond to haplotypes D and E. Then, we assessed the phylogenetic relationships between strains isolated from France and a worldwide collection of Lso isolates by using the rpIJ-rpIL gene region sequences. The neighbor-joining tree constructed delineated five clusters corresponding to the five Lso haplotypes, with LsoD and LsoE being closely related phylogenetically. Altogether, the data presented here constitute a first step toward a better understanding of the genetic diversity among Lso haplotypes in France, and provide new insights into the host range of this emerging bacterial species.