First Report of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-Related Strains Infecting Lily in Mexico

Cortés-Martínez et al. (2008). Plant Disease 92 (6)
Names (1)
Ca. Phytoplasma asteris
Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
In recent years, lily (Lilium spp.) has become an important ornamental crop in diverse regions of Mexico. Since 2005, unusual symptoms have been observed on lily plants grown from imported bulbs in both greenhouse and production plots at San Pablo Ixayo, Boyeros, and Tequexquinauac, Mexico State. Symptoms included a zigzag line pattern on leaves, dwarfism, enlargement of stems, shortened internodes, leaves without petioles growing directly from bulbs, air bulbils, death of young roots, atrophy of flower buttons, and flower abortion. Symptoms were experimentally reproduced on healthy lily plants by graft inoculation. Total DNA was extracted from 50 diseased, 10 symptomless, and 10 graft-inoculated plants by the method of Dellaporta et al. (2). DNA samples were analyzed for phytoplasma presence by two different nested PCR assays. One assay employed ribosomal RNA gene primer pair P1/P7 followed by R16F2n/R16R2 (1), whereas ribosomal protein (rp) gene primer pairs rpF1/rpR1 and rp(I)F1A/rp(I)R1A (4) were used in a second assay. A DNA fragment approximately 1.2 kb long was consistently amplified from all symptomatic plant samples only by both assays. A comparative analysis of 16S rDNA sequences (Genbank Accession Nos. EF421158–EF421160 and EU124518–EU124520) and rp gene sequences (EU277012–EU277014), derived from PCR products, revealed that phytoplasma infecting lily were most similar (99.9% to 16S rDNA and 99.7% to rp) to carrot phytoplasma sp. ca2006/5 and also were similar (99.8% to 16SrDNA and 99.2% to rp) to broccoli phytoplasma sp. br273. Both carrot and broccoli phytoplasmas were classified as members of aster yellow 16S rDNA restriction fragment length polymorphism subgroup 16SrI-B (3). Although infection of lilies by aster yellows (‘Ca. phytoplasma asteris’) subgroup 16SrI-B and 16SrI-C was reported from the Czech Republic and Poland, to our knowledge, this is the first report of ‘Ca. phytoplasma asteris’-related strains associated with lily plants in Mexico. References: (1) R. F. Davis et al. Microbiol. Res. 158:229, 2003. (2) S. L. Dellaporta et al. Plant Mol. Biol. Rep. 1:19, 1983. (3) B. Duduk et al. Bull. Insectol. 60 2:341, 2007. (4) I.-M. Lee et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 54:337, 2004.
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