In this paper, a comprehensive overview of the ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ presence in Europe was provided. The analyzed findings revealed that, since the first appearance of this pathogen in Finland and Spain in 2008, it has spread to 13 new European countries. Therefore, ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ has spread very quickly across the European continent, as evident from the emergence of new host plants within the Apiaceae, Urticaceae, and Polygonaceae families, as well as new haplotypes of this pathogen. Thus far, 5 of the 15 ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ haplotypes determined across the globe have been confirmed in Europe (haplotypes C, D, E, U, and H). Fully competent ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ vectors include Bactericera cockerelli, Trioza apicalis, and B. trigonica; however, only T. apicalis and B. trigonica are presently established in Europe and are very important for plants from the Apiaceae family in particular. Moreover, psyllid species such as B. tremblayi, T. urticae, and T. anthrisci have also been confirmed positive for ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’. Constant monitoring of its spread in the field (in both symptomatic and asymptomatic plants), use of sensitive molecular diagnostic techniques, and application of timely management strategies are, therefore, of utmost importance for the control of this destructive pathogen.
The present study examined the effects of Candidatus Phytoplasma solani infection on antioxidative metabolism in leaves and roots of carrot (Daucus carota L.). Disease symptoms appeared at the end of June in the form of the chlorosis on some of the leaves, which became intensely red one week later, while the previously healthy leaves from the same branch becme chlorotic. A few days later, all leaves from the infected leaf branch were intensely red. Infected plants also had slower growth compared to the healthy ones with fewer leaf branches developed. The roots of infected plants were less developed, seared, or gummy with or without brown-colored root hair. The presence of the pathogen was detected by sequencing the 16S rRNA. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) BLAST analyses of the obtained sequence revealed 100% identity of tested strain with deposited Ca. Phytoplasma solani strains from various countries and hosts, all belonging to the “stolbur” group (16SrXII-A). Identity of 99.74% was found when the tested Serbian strain (MF503627) was compared with the reference stolbur strain STOL11 (AF248959). The oxidative damage of membranes in carrot cells was accompanied by a decrease in the content of photosynthetic pigments. Furthermore, for the determination of specific scavenging properties of the extracts, in vitro antioxidant assay was performed. In phytoplasma-infected carrot leaves, there was a greater reduction in the level of glutathione content (GSH); however; flavonoids and anthocyanidins seem to be responsible for the accompanied increased antioxidative capacity against hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide.