Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 2000
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 commercial strawberry and associating their presence with disease symptoms. In this work, we have identified four different phytoplasmas that cause deformations of fruit, called phyllody, in which leafy growths develop from the fruit. Up to now these symptoms have been believed to be due to certain environmental conditions that upset the physiology of the fruit or to phytoplasmas belonging to the aster yellows group of phytoplasmas. This is the first report to associate four other phytoplasmas with fruit phyllody symptoms and to show that phytoplasmas other than those belonging to the aster yellows group can be associated with this strawberry disease problem. This information will benefit scientists concerned with diseases of strawberry and effects of phytoplasma infection in plants other than strawberry.
Four distinct phytoplasmas associated with phyllody of strawberry fruit: strawberry multicipita (SM) phytoplasma (16S rRNA group VI, subgroup B), STRAWB2 phytoplasma (16S rRNA group I, subgroup K), clover yellow edge phytoplasma (16S rRNA group III, subgroup A), and a new Group III phytoplasma. The SM and STRAWB2 phytoplasmas were detected in plants with phylloid fruit that also exhibited stunting and crown proliferation (SM phytoplasma) or stunting and leaf chlorosis (STRAWB2 phytoplasma). This is the first report to associate strawberry fruit phyllody with the presence of these phytoplasmas, and to report that phytoplasmas other than those belonging to 16S rRNA group I (aster yellows group) can also be associated with strawberry fruit phyllody.