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Multiple phytoplasmas associated with potato diseases in Mexico

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In recent years, the potato crop in Mexico has been notably affected by diseases recognized as potato purple top (PPT) in foliage and potato hair sprouts (PHS) in germinating tubers. In both cases, these syndromes reduce production by affecting viability of the tubers used as seeds. There is evidence indicating that phytoplasmas are associated with these syndromes. This study presents data on the molecular detection, characterization, and ecology of the pathogens related to PPT and PHS. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and sequence analysis indicated that PPT phytoplasma belongs to the 16SrI group and PHS phytoplasma fits in the 16SrII group. In this paper, we report that the two different phytoplasmas have been found coexisting in the same potato plant, which demonstrates the presence of mixed infection in the field. These phytoplasmas were also detected in weeds surrounding potato fields; therefore they should be considered as alternative hosts or natural reservoirs of PPT and PHS phytoplasmas.Key Words: mycoplasma-like organisms, witches' broom, purple top, fine sprouts, alternate hosts.

Au cours des dernières années, la culture de la pomme de terre au Mexique a été affectée par des maladies comme la touffe pourpre (PPT) du feuillage et le germe chevelu (PHS) des tubercules de germination. Dans les deux cas, ces syndromes diminuent la productivité en affectant la viabilité des tubercules utilisés comme semences. Il y a évidence que des phytoplasmes soient associés à ces maladies. Notre étude présente des données concernant la détection, la caractérisation et l'écologie des pathogènes responsables de la PPT et de la PHS. Les valeurs obtenues par polymorphisme de longueur des fragments de restriction (RFLP) et l'analyse de la séquence ont confirmé que le phytoplasme de la PPT appartenait au groupe 16SrI et que le phytoplasme de la PHS se retrouvait dans le groupe 16SrII. Notre étude a aussi révélé que ces deux phytoplasmes différents pouvaient cohabiter dans le même plant de pomme de terre, confirmant ainsi des infections mixtes pouvant survenir dans les champs de production. Ces phytoplasmes ont aussi été retrouvés dans des mauvaises herbes au pourtour de plantations de pommes de terre. Les mauvaises herbes devraient être considérées comme des hôtes secondaires ou des réservoirs naturels des phytoplasmes causant la PPT et la PHS.Mots clés : organismes du type mycoplasma, balai de sorcière, touffe pourpre, bonnes pousses, hôtes secondaires.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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