Alocasia macrorrhiza, which belongs to the Araceae family, is an important landscape plant in China, and has of significant medicinal uses. In 2022, A. macrorrhiza displaying abnormal symptoms were found in Qionghai, Hainan Island of China (110°23′3.06″，19°7′56.29″). The incidence of symptomatic plants was about 40% in the sampled areas. The abnormal symptoms included that the ovoid leaves color turned yellow from green gradually, with ovoid leaves chlorosis, mesophyll tissue yellowing, miniature leaves and systemic wilting. The diseased symptoms suspected to be associated with phytoplasma according to the protocols of phytoplasma identification. In order to identify the pathogen, eleven diseased samples and three asymptomatic samples were collected from an area of about 40 hectares. Total DNAs were extracted from 0.10 g fresh plant leaf tissues using a CTAB DNA extraction method. PCR amplifications were performed using primers R16mF2/R16mR1 and fTuf1/rTuf1 specific for the phytoplasma 16S rRNA and tuf genes. Target PCR amplicons were obtained from the DNA of 11 diseased samples, whereas not from the DNA of the asymptomatic samples. The PCR products were cloned and sequenced by Biotechnology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Guangzhou, China), and the obtained sequences were assembled, edited and analyzed using the EditSeq program and DNAMAN version 6.0. The phytoplasma 16S rRNA and tuf gene amplicons were 1336 and 930 bp in length, respectively. The sequences of all 16S rRNA and tuf amplicons in this study were identical. The sequencing data were deposited in GenBank with accession numbers OR466206 (16S rDNA) and OR513090 (tuf). According to the methods and protocols of phytoplasma identified and classification, the phytoplasma strain was described as Alocasia macrorrhiza yellows (AmY) phytoplasma, AmY-hn strain. BLAST search were conducted based on 16Sr RNA and tuf genes. The results showed that the AmY-hn had 100 % 16Sr RNA sequence identity (1336 bp out of 1336 bp) with that of 16SrI-B subgroup phytoplasmas like onion yellows phytoplasma (OY-M, AP006628). The AmY-hn had 100 % tuf sequence identity (930 bp out of 930 bp) with that of 16SrI-B subgroup phytoplasmas like OY-M. RFLP profiles obtained with iPhyClassifier demonstrated that AmY-hn strain was a member of the 16SrI-B subgroup with a similarity coefficient 1.00 to the reference phytoplasma strain (AP006628). Separated phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA and tuf genes obtained with MEGA 7.0 using the neighbor-joining (NJ) method with 1000 bootstrap value indicated that AmY-hn clustered into one clade with phytoplasma strains of OY-M and chinaberry witches’-broom (KP662119) with 100 % and 87 % bootstrap value respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report that a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-related strain belonging to 16SrI-B subgroup infects A. macrorrhiza in China. The 16SrI-B subgroup ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-related strains can spread outwards through the plant A. macrorrhiza. Thus, the findings in the study will be beneficial to the detection of phytoplasmas which parasitic in this plant and the epidemic monitoring of the related diseases.
Candidatus Liberibacter spp is the most prevalent microorganism in the citrus plant, associated with Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), which is transmitted by the psyllid vector. In Colombia, the vector Diaphorina citri Kugayama has been reported in different regions, but “Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) has only been detected in insect vectors, not in citrus host plants. To identify the presence and quantify the pathogen in citrus tissues, we employed a combined strategy that involved three techniques based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR). First, we used endpoint PCR with specific primers for CLas (OI1-OI2c) to confirm the infection. Second, we used qPCR with specific primers CIT295a – CIT298 designed on 16S rDNA gene regions to quantify the pathogen load. Finally, we employed droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to determine the copy number of the pathogen in citrus tissues using the β-subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) gene (nrdB) that is specific to CLas. We identified the presence of CLas in citrus plants for the first time in Colombia and quantified its titer in the plant tissue. We employed ddPCR and qPCR to provide crucial information for the country's disease management, control strategies, and general crop health.
Areca catechu palm is an important cash plant in Hainan Island of China and even tropical regions worldwide. Areca catechu palm yellow leaf (AcYL) disease caused by the phytoplasmas is a devastating disease for the plant production. In the study, the phytoplasmas associated with the AcYL diseases were identified and characterized based on the conserved genes of the phytoplasmas, and genetic variation and phylogenetic relationship of the phytoplasma strains in the 16SrXXXII group was demonstrated. The results indicated that Areca catechu palm showing yellow leaf symptoms were single infected by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma malaysianum’-related strains belonging to 16SrXXXII-D subgroup. BLAST and multiple sequence alignment analysis based on 16S rRNA and secA genes showed that the AcYL phytoplasmas shared 100% sequence identity and 100% homology with the ‘Ca. Phytoplasma malaysianum’-related strains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the AcYL phytoplasmas and ‘Ca. Phytoplasma malaysianum’-related strains belonging to 16SrXXXII group were clustered into one clade with a 100% bootstrap value. Based on computer-simulated digestions, 6 kinds of RFLP patterns within 16SrXXXII group were obtained and a novel subgroup in the 16Sr group was recommended to propose to describe the relevant strains in this 16Sr subgroup. To our knowledge, this is the first report that Areca catechu palm showing yellow leaf symptoms infected by ‘Ca. Phytoplasma malaysianum’-related strains belonging to 16SrXXXII group. And a novel 16Sr subgroup 16SrXXXII-F was proposed based on the systematical analysis of genetic variation of all the phytoplasmas within 16SrXXXII group. The findings of this study would support references for monitoring the epidemiology and developing effective prevention strategies of the AcYL diseases.
Citrus greening disease was first reported in Saudi Arabia during the 1970’s when characteristic foliar and fruit symptoms were observed in commercial citrus groves, however, “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) was not detected in symptomatic trees until 1981-1984 when CLas-like cells were observed by transmission electron microscopy in leaves collected from symptomatic citrus groves in southwestern Saudi Arabia. Despite the anticipated establishment of the CLas-Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) pathosystem, CLas presence has not been verified in suspect trees nor have ACP infestations been documented. Given the recent expansion of citrus production in Saudi Arabia, a systematic country-wide survey was carried out to determine the potential CLas distribution in the thirteen citrus-growing regions of the country. Citrus trees were surveyed for presence of CLas-psyllid vector(s) and characteristic disease symptoms in commercial and urban citrus trees. Adult psyllids collected from infested citrus trees were identified as ACP based on morphological characteristics. Real-time, quantitative PCR amplification (qPCR) of the CLas β-subunit of the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) gene from citrus leaf and fruit samples and/or ACP adults, revealed trees were positive for CLas detection in ten of the 13 survey regions, however, CLas was undetectable in ACP adults. Phylogenetic and SNPs analyses of a PCR-amplified, cloned fragment of the CLas 16S rRNA gene (~1.1 kbp) indicated Saudi Arabian isolates were most closely related to Florida, USA isolates. Analysis of climate variables indicated that the distribution of the ACP-CLas pathosystem observed in Saudi Arabia was consistent with published predictions of terrains most likely to support establishment.
British Columbia (BC) is the lead producer of sweet cherries in Canada with more than 2,000 ha in production and a farm gate value of over CAD$100 million annually. Since 2010, an outbreak of little cherry disease caused by Little cherry virus 1 (LChV1) and Little cherry virus 2 (LChV2), as well as X-disease (XD) caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’ has caused significant economic losses in neighboring Washington State (WA), USA. LChV1 and LChV2 have long been known to occur in BC (Theilmann et al. 2002); however, ‘Ca. P. pruni’ has not yet been reported in BC. Due to its geographical proximity to WA State, the BC cherry industry expressed significant concerns about the possible presence of the phytoplasma in cherry orchards. Accordingly, the main objective of this study was to survey cherry orchards to determine whether ‘Ca. P. pruni’ was present in symptomatic trees in BC. A total of 118 samples of leaves and fruit stems from individual symptomatic trees were collected prior to harvest from nine cherry orchards and one nectarine orchard in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys in BC. Characteristic symptoms included small and misshapen fruit with poor color development. Samples were submitted to AGNEMA, LLC (Pasco, WA) for testing using qPCR TaqMan assays for LChV1 (Katsiani et al. 2018), LChV2 (Shires et al. 2022) and ‘Ca. P. pruni’ (Kogej et al. 2020). Test results showed 21 samples (17.8%) from three cherry orchards positive for LChV2 and 2 samples (1.7%) from one cherry orchard positive for ‘Ca. P. pruni’. In order to confirm the identification of ‘Ca. P. pruni’, part of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene was amplified by nested PCR using the P1/P7 followed by R16F2n/R2 primer sets (Gundersen and Lee 1996) and Sanger sequenced. BC-XD-Pa-1 (GenBank Acc. No. OR539920) and BC-XD-Pa-2 (OR537699) were identical to one another and showed 99.92% identity to the ‘Ca. P. pruni’ reference strain CX-95 (JQ044397). Analysis using iPhyClassifier (Zhou et al. 2009) indicated that they were 16SrIII-A strains. Interestingly, the two partial 16S sequences showed 100% nucleotide identity to strain 10324 (MH810016) and others from WA. For additional confirmation, partial secA (Hodgetts et al. 2008) and secY (Lee et al. 2010) translocases were amplified and sequenced. As with the 16S sequences, secY sequences (OR542980, OR542981) showed 99.92% nucleotide identity to strain CX-95 (JQ268249), and 100% to strain 10324 (MH810035). The secA sequences (OR542978, OR542979) had nucleotide identities of 99.77% to strain CX (MW547067), and 100% to the Green Valley strain from California (EU168733). Accordingly, ‘Ca. P. Pruni’ was confirmed to be present in sweet cherry samples from BC. ‘Ca. P. Pruni’-related strains have been previously reported to occur in Canada in commercial poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) (Arocha-Rosete et al. 2021). To our knowledge, this is the first report of ‘Ca. P. Pruni’ in sweet cherry in Canada. Due to the important economic value of sweet cherries in BC, these findings are highly significant and represent the first steps towards the development of a surveillance system for early detection of XD, and consequent implementation of management strategies, including vector control. As required by federal and provincial regulations, cherry trees infected with LChV2 and ‘Ca. P. Pruni’ found in the survey were removed by the growers.
AbstractPlant pathogens can alter the behavior of their insect vectors as well as their survival and reproduction. The African psyllid, Trioza erytreae, is one of the vectors of Huanglongbing, a citrus disease caused mainly by “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas). The purpose of this study was to characterize the effects of CLas on the psyllid, T. erytreae using Citrus volkamerina plants as the study system. The study focused more specifically on the CLas effects prior to and after its acquisition by the psyllid T. erytreae. Our results did not support the hypothesis that CLas effects psyllid probing behavior prior to acquisition; few differences were observed between uninfected T. erytrea feeding on CLas‐infected versus control plants. On the other hand, compared to psyllids that had completed their development on control plants, the ones that had completed their development on a CLas‐infected plant exhibited changes in their behavior (greater velocity), physiology (smaller mass) and biochemistry (lower water and lipid content). Altogether, our results confirm the existence of a marked postacquisition effect on the vector locomotor behavior and a minor preacquisition effect of CLas on the vector behavior, which can be partially explained by physiological and biochemical changes.