Rickettsia-like-organisms and phytoplasmas associated with diseases in Australian strawberries

Claire Streten-Joyce, G Waite, M Herrington, D Hutton, D Persley, Karen Gibb

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    Strawberry lethal yellows (SLY) disease in Australia is associated with the phytoplasmas Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense and tomato big bud, and a rickettsia-like-organism (RLO). Ca. P. australiense is also associated with strawberry green petal (SGP) disease. This study investigated the strength of the association of the different agents with SLY disease. We also documented the location of SLY or SGP plants, and measured whether they were RLO or phytoplasma positive. Symptomatic strawberry plants collected from south-east Queensland (Australia) between January 2000 and October 2002 were screened by PCR for both phytoplasmas and the RLO. Two previously unreported disease symptoms termed severe fruit distortion (SFD) and strawberry leaves from fruit (SLF) were observed during this study but there was no clear association between these symptoms and phytoplasmas or the RLO. Only two SGP diseased plants were observed and collected, compared with 363 plants with SLY disease symptoms. Of the 363 SLY samples, 117 tested positive for the RLO, 67 tested positive for Ca. P. australiense AGY strain and 11 plants tested positive for Ca. P. australiense PYL variant strain. On runner production farms at Stanthorpe, Queensland the RLO was detected in SLY diseased plants more frequently than for the phytoplasmas. On fruit production farms on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Ca. P. australiense was detected in SLY disease plants more frequently than the RLO. � Australasian Plant Pathology Society 2005.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-164
    Number of pages8
    JournalAustralasian Plant Pathology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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