Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Phytoplasmas are bacteria-like organisms that infect many plants and often cause serious crop losses. Strawberry plants also can be infected with phytoplasmas, causing fruit losses as well as plant death. It has been only recently that research has focused on identifying and characterizing phytoplasmas from strawberry and associating their presence with disease symptoms. In the course of this work, we have identified one of the phytoplasmas infecting strawberry as the clover proliferation phytoplasma. This is the first report of this phytoplasma infecting strawberry and we also determined that this phytoplasma can infect native relatives of the commercial strawberry. This information will be of use to scientists and extension personnel who are concerned with diseases of strawberry.
Technical Abstract: Diseased plants of Fragaria virginiana were collected from a native population in Quebec, Canada, and grafted onto disease-free plants of F. chiloensis to determine if a transmissible pathogen was involved. We also observed plants of commercial strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) collected in California and Maryland that were stunted and chlorotic or exhibited these symptoms in addition to small, distorted leaves. These plants, as well as the diseased F. virginiana and grafted F. chiloensis plants were assessed for phytoplasma infection. All plants were found to be infected by a phytoplasma that belonged to subgroup 16SrVI-A (clover proliferation (CP) phytoplasma subgroup). This is the first report of clover proliferation phytoplasma, 16SrVI-A, infecting strawberry. This report also indicates that the occurrence of CP phytoplasma in strawberry may be widespread in North America and that plants of Fragaria chiloensis, F. virginiana, and F. x ananassa are susceptible to infection by CP phytoplasma.