A New ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ Species Associated with Diseases of Solanaceous Crops

Liefting et al. (2009). Plant Disease 93 (3)
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Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
A new disease of glasshouse-grown tomato and pepper in New Zealand has resulted in plant decline and yield loss. Affected plants are characterized by spiky, chlorotic apical growth, curling or cupping of the leaves, and overall stunting. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of phloem-limited bacterium-like organisms in symptomatic plants. The strategy used to identify the bacterium involved using specific prokaryote polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers in combination with universal 16S rRNA primers. Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, the 16S/23S rRNA spacer region, and the rplKAJL-rpoBC operon revealed that the bacterium shared high identity with ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the bacterium is distinct from the three citrus liberibacter species previously described and has been named ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’. This is the first report of a liberibacter naturally infecting a host outside the Rutaceae family. A specific PCR primer pair was developed for its detection.
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