Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neil Boonham
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A study to investigate the association of phytoplasmas with papaya dieback and citrus decline syndromes in Ethiopia was carried out between July 2009 and February 2010, with sampling performed in major papaya- and citrus-growing areas of the Rift Valley. Samples of plants with symptoms were collected from papaya, citrus and suspected phytoplasma weed hosts and crops in and around the papaya and citrus fields studied. Nested polymerase chain reaction (nested-PCR) was used for initial characterization, using primers that amplify regions of the 16S rRNA and secA genes, and results were then confirmed with rapid real-time group-specific LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) assays. The results identified the occurrence of a phytoplasma belonging to the stolbur (16SrXII-A) group in papaya plants showing dieback symptoms, whilst no phytoplasmas were found associated with citrus decline. These results contradict previous reports that a 16SrII phytoplasma was associated with both papaya dieback and citrus decline in Ethiopia, but correspond with the association of a 16SrXII phytoplasmas with Nivum-Haamir-Dieback of papaya in Israel and papaya dieback in Australia. No 16SrXII phytoplasmas were found in any of the weeds and potential alternative hosts studied, although 16SrII phytoplasmas were consistently found in Parthenium hysterophorus weed plants. These results indicate that a 16SrXII phytoplasma is associated with papaya dieback in Ethiopia, whilst the causal agent of citrus decline is not a phytoplasma and remains unidentified. © 2010 The Authors. Plant Pathology © 2010 BSPP.
Author(s): Bekele B, Hodgetts J, Tomlinson J, Boonham N, Nikolic P, Swarbrick P, Dickinson M
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Plant Pathology
Print publication date: 01/04/2011
Online publication date: 29/10/2010
ISSN (print): 0032-0862
ISSN (electronic): 1365-3059
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