Citrus huanglongbing: validation of Real-Time PCR (qPCR) for the detection of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and Candidatus Liberibacter americanus in Colombia

Ángel et al. (2014). Agronomía Colombiana 32 (3)
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Agronomy and Crop Science
Citrus huanglongbing (HLB) is the most destructive citrus disease. Two of the three known HLB-associated CandidatusLiberibacter species were recently found to be present in the Americas. In this study, eggs, nymphs and adults of Diaphorinacitri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) and suspect citrus plant materials were collected in 25 municipalities in the departments of Cundinamarca, Santander, Valle del Cauca, Meta and Quindio (Colombia). The detection sensitivity, specificity and assay performance of the 16S rDNA-based real-time PCR (qPCR) were validated for the field survey of the disease in Colombia. The validation confirmed the reliability and robustness of the real-time PCR method for the detection of HLB bacteria in host citrus plant tissues and the vector D. citri. The diagnosis was performed for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Ca. L. asiaticus) and for Candidatus Liberibacter americanus (Ca. L. americanus) on 168 citrus plant material samples and 239 insect samples. Neither Ca. L. asiaticus nor Ca. L. americanus were detected in the host plants or insects vector, confirming the absence of the disease in the citrus-producing areas of Colombia.
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