Effect of Plant Age, Temperature, and Vector Load on ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ in Planta Titer and Shoot Proliferation Symptoms in Carrot

Keshet-Sitton et al. (2022). Phytopathology® 112 (1)
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Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
A decade ago, shoot proliferation symptoms (i.e., witches’ broom) in carrots were believed to be the cause of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ and Spiroplasma infection, yet in recent years this association appeared to have weakened, and a closer association was found with the yet-unculturable, psyllid-transmitted Gram-negative bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’. In Israel, carrots are grown throughout the year, yet shoot proliferation symptoms tend to appear only in mature plants and mostly in late spring to early summer. We hypothesized that factors such as plant age, temperature, and vector load, which vary during the year, have a critical effect on symptom development and examined these factors under controlled conditions. Here we show that young carrot seedlings are as prone as older plants to develop shoot proliferation symptoms after ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ inoculation. Surprisingly, we found that the local ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ haplotype was extremely sensitive to constant temperature of 30°C, which led to a significant reduction in bacterial growth and symptom development compared with 18°C, which was very conducive to symptom development. We have also found that inoculations with 10 or 20 psyllids per plant results in faster symptom development compared with inoculations with two psyllids per plant; however, the difference between vector loads in disease progress rate was not significant. These data provide important insights to the effects of plant age, growth temperature, and vector load on ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ and its associated symptoms and further strengthen the notion that ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ is the main responsible agent for carrot witches’ broom in Israel. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license .
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