Detection, Distribution, and Genetic Variability of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ Species Associated with Zebra Complex Disease of Potato in North America

Wen et al. (2009). Plant Disease 93 (11)
Names (1)
Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
The specificity and sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers developed for ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ and ‘Candidatus Liberibacter psyllaurous’ were evaluated in conventional and real-time PCR assays. All PCR primers were specific for ‘Ca. L. psyllaurous’ and ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ insomuch as they did not detect other prokaryotic plant pathogens that affect potato except for the putative pathogens associated with psyllid-yellows and haywire. Conventional PCR assays were capable of detecting 0.19 to 1.56 ng of total DNA per reaction, and real-time PCR was found capable of detecting 1.56 to 6.25 ng of total DNA per reaction, depending on the specific PCR primer set used. ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ species associated with zebra complex disease (ZC) was confirmed in plants affected by this disease throughout Texas from 2005 to 2008, in seed tubers produced in Wyoming in 2007, and in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Mexico in 2008. A multiplex PCR assay using ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’–specific primers and primers specific for the β-tubulin DNA regions from potato was developed, providing possible utility of the multiplex assay for ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ detection in different solanaceous plant species. Preliminary studies suggest silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), wolfberry (Lycium barbarum), black nightshade (S. ptychanthum), and jalapeno pepper (Capsicum annuum) as additional solanaceous hosts for the ZC-associated bacterium. The ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ species detected in all samples divided into two clusters sharing similarity of 99.8% in their partial 16S rRNA gene sequences and 99.3% in their partial intergenic spacer region (ISR)-23S rRNA gene sequences. Genetic variation in the 16S rDNA region consistently matched that of the ISR-23S rDNA region. In this partial 16S-ISR-23S rDNA region, there was a total of eight single nucleotide polymorphisms among ‘Ca. L. psyllaurous’ and ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ “strains” investigated in this study. ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ and ‘Ca. L. psyllaurous’ were shown to be very closely related bacteria, if not the same, by successful amplification using a combination of forward primer of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ and reverse primer of ‘Ca. L. psyllaurous’ in ZC-affected potato samples. This finding clarifies the current taxonomic status of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ and ‘Ca. L. psyllaurous’. The detection of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ from haywire-symptomatic potato samples demonstrates that this bacterium might also be associated with this disease.
Publication date