Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (Lso) is the causal agent of zebra chip of potato (Solanum tuberosum), which can significantly reduce potato yield. In this study, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method for the detection of Lso haplotypes A and B was developed and evaluated. Two sets of LAMP primers named LAMP-A and LAMP-B were designed and tested for specificity and sensitivity. Both LAMP-A and LAMP-B were specific to Lso in in silico analysis using the Primer-Blast tool. The LAMP-A and LAMP-B could only produce positive signal from DNA mixtures of Lso-infected tomato but not from the genomic DNA of 37 non-target plant pathogens. The sensitivity of LAMP-A and LAMP-B on Lso haplotypes A and B were tested on gBlocks and genomic DNA from Lso-infected tomato. On the genomic DNA, for LAMP-A, the lowest amount of template DNA for a positive LAMP reaction was 2 to 20 ng on four haplotype A strains and 20 to 80 ng on four haplotype B strains; for LAMP-B, the lowest amount of template DNA for a positive LAMP reaction was 0.02 to 2 ng on four haplotype B strains and 20 ng to no amplification on four haplotype A strains. On gBlocks, for LAMP-A, the lowest number of copies for a positive LAMP reaction was 60 on haplotype A and 600 on haplotype B; for LAMP-B, the lowest number of copies for a positive LAMP reaction was 60 on haplotype B and 600 on haplotype A. Therefore, considering the convenience of the LAMP technique, as well as the high specificity and sensitivity, the LAMP-A and LAMP-B primers can be used together to test the probable Lso-infected plant or psyllid samples to rapidly, accurately and directly differentiate haplotypes A and B. We highly recommend this LAMP system to plant pathology practitioners and diagnostic labs for routine detection of Lso and confirmation of zebra chip disease on potato or tomato.
Zebra chip (ZC) disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum) is associated with infection by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso). Two haplotypes of Lso—A and B—occur in the United States. Lso haplotype B is more virulent than haplotype A, causing greater disease incidence in tubers, more severe symptoms, and greater loss in tuber yield. This study assessed whether tubers from infected plants generate new infected plants the following year. The effects of both Lso haplotypes A and B on tuber resprout were examined on five potato cultivars. When compared with noninfected tubers, overall plant emergence rate from Lso A- or B-infected tubers was lower, plants emerged slower, and plants generated lower daughter tuber yields in weight and quantity. Plants generally emerged poorly from Lso B-infected tubers and produced lower daughter tuber yields than Lso A-infected tubers. Regardless of Lso treatment, all daughter tubers were asymptomatic, and only 0.3% tested positive for Lso in experiments conducted over 2 years. This suggests that plants generated from Lso A- and Lso B-infected seed potatoes with severe ZC symptoms are likely not a significant source of Lso in potato fields.