Proposal of A New Bois Noir Epidemiological Pattern Related to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma Solani’ Strains Characterized by A Possible Moderate Virulence in Tuscany

Pierro et al. (2020). Pathogens 9 (4)
Names (2)
Ca. Phytoplasma Ca. Phytoplasma solani
General Immunology and Microbiology Immunology and Allergy Infectious Diseases Microbiology (medical) Molecular Biology
Bois noir (BN), associated with ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ (CaPsol), is the most widespread disease of the grapevine yellows complex worldwide. In this work, BN epidemiology was investigated in a case study vineyard where an unusual CaPsol strain, previously detected only in other host plants, was found to be prevalent in grapevine. Experimental activities included: symptom observation; sampling of symptomatic vines, Auchenorrhyncha specimens, and weeds; molecular detection and typing of CaPsol strains; statistical analyses for determining possible relationships between CaPsol relative concentration, strain type, and symptom severity. Among insects, Reptalus quinquecostatus was the most abundant and was found to be highly infected by CaPsol, while Hyalesthes obsoletus, the main CaPsol vector, was not caught. Moreover, R. quinquecostatus harbored CaPsol strains carrying uniquely the stamp sequence variant St10, also identified as prevalent in vines and in the majority of weeds, and all the secY variants identified in the vineyard. Statistical analyses revealed that CaPsol strains carrying the St10 variant are not associated with severe symptoms, suggesting their possible moderate virulence. Based on such evidence, a new BN epidemiological pattern related to these CaPsol strains and involving grapevine, R. quinquecostatus, and/or weeds is proposed. Furthermore, the possible presence of other players (vectors and weeds) involved in CaPsol transmission to grapevines was highlighted.
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