Molecular Characterization of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’ in the Czech Republic and Susceptibility of Apricot Rootstocks to the Two Most Abundant Haplotypes

Kiss et al. (2024). Microorganisms 12 (2)
Names (1)
Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum
Microbiology Microbiology (medical) Virology
‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’ is one of the most destructive pathogens of Prunus species, where susceptible species render unproductive several years after infection. In epidemiology, the molecular characterization of phytoplasmas is based on sequence analysis of variable nonribosomal genes. In this study aceF, pnp, imp and secY genes were used for characterization of the ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ genotypes present in the Czech Republic. In total, 56 plant and 33 vector (Cacopsylla pruni) samples positive to ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ collected in seven localities were used in the study. Based on sequence analysis, four aceF, two pnp, six imp, and three secY genotypes were identified in analyzed samples. The most abundant in both plant and insect samples were the A6, P2, I4, and S2 genotypes. Most of the Czech ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ haplotypes clustered together in the haplotype network analysis. Next, two isolates representing the two most abundant Czech haplotypes (A6-P2-I4-S2 and A5-P2-I4-S2) were used in the susceptibility test of three apricot rootstock types (St. Julien A, M-VA-1, GF-305). Susceptibility was analyzed by phytoplasma quantification using quantitative real-time PCR and evaluation of symptom manifestation. Based on the results, the influence of the rootstock type on the phytoplasma titer and symptom manifestation was greater than of the phytoplasma isolate, while the year of analysis had no influence on the results. The results also showed that the phytoplasma titer is increasing in plant tissues during the vegetation period.
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