Influence of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ infection on carrot root weight in Germany

Sauer et al. (2024). European Journal of Plant Pathology
Names (1)
“Liberibacter solanacearum”
Agronomy and Crop Science Horticulture Plant Science
AbstractInfection with the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) is suspected to cause severe damage in carrot leading to high carrot weight loss. This study investigates three main aspects: (i) whether there is a reduction of carrot root weight under field conditions due to Lso infection; (ii) the correlation between Lso infection rate in carrot plants and occurrence of the psyllid Trioza apicalis as the known vector for Lso in carrot, and (iii) the comparison between symptoms described in literature and observed symptoms associated with Lso infection. Therefore, field surveys were conducted from 2018 to 2021 on organically managed carrot fields in Lower Saxony, Germany. Two Rebell orange sticky traps were placed per field replaced on a weekly basis. Captured T. apicalis were morphologically identified and counted. Carrot plant samples were collected from T. apicalis infested fields. Discolouration of foliage and further symptoms on carrots were investigated. For detection of Lso in carrot plants and psyllids, the samples were analysed using PCR. The infection rate of carrot plants varied between 2.5% and 80% per field with low abundance of T. apicalis. Of the asymptomatic plants, 39.4% were infected with Lso, while 80.9% of the symptomatic plants were infected with Lso. The weight of Lso-positive carrot samples was not significantly reduced compared to Lso-negative samples. No economically relevant losses of carrot yield were reported by farmers participating in this study. This indicates that there was no effect of Lso infection on carrot root weight during this study. Of the symptoms associated with a Lso infection in carrots, only leaf discolouration could be confirmed. Overall, the bacterium is present in organically grown carrot plants in Lower Saxony but no major carrot root weight losses were observed.
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