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Title: Roles of Stolbur phytoplasma and Reptalus panzeri (Cixiinae, Auchenorrhyncha) in the epidemiology of Maize redness in Serbia

item JOVI, J
item Redinbaugh, Margaret - Peg
item PRATT, R
item Gingery, Roy
item TOSEVSKI, I - Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) - Switzerland

Submitted to: European Journal of Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2007
Publication Date: 3/12/2007
Citation: Jovi, J., Cvrkovi, T., Mitrovi, M., Krnjaji, S., Redinbaugh, M.G., Pratt, R.C., Gingery, R.E., Hogenhout, S.A., Tosevski, I. 2007. Roles of Stolbur phytoplasma and Reptalus panzeri (Cixiinae, Auchenorrhyncha) in the epidemiology of Maize redness in Serbia. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 118:85-89.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Maize redness (MR), a disease causing midrib, leaf and stalk reddening and abnormal ear development in maize, has been reported from Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria for 50 years. Recent epiphytotics reduced yields by 40-90% in southern Banat, Serbia. MR was recently associated with the presence of the stolbur phytoplasma, although the epidemiology of the disease remained unknown. Diseased fields in southern Banat were surveyed for potential vectors of the phytoplasma during 2005 and 2006, and high populations of Reptalus panzeri were found. In affected fields, 20% of the R. panzeri individuals and 85% of symptomatic maize plants carried the stolbur phytoplasma. When stolbur phytoplasma-infected R. panzeri were introduced into insect-free mesh cages containing healthy maize plants, midrib and leaf reddening developed on 48% of plants and stolbur phytoplasma was detected in 90% of the symptomatic plants. No symptoms or phytoplasma-positive plants were found in cages without insects. These data indicate that MR symptoms are associated with the stolbur phytoplasma. To identify potential reservoirs of pathogen, Convolvus arvense and several other perennial weeds collected from the test plots in southern Banat were tested for the presence of stolbur phytoplasma, but none were infected. However, R. panzeri larvae collected from the roots of infected maize plants in late October, 2006 were positive for the phytoplasma. These results indicate that R. panzeri is likely to be a major vector of MR, as it is both abundant in affected fields, can transmit the stolbur phytoplasma, and the overwintering form of the insect is infected with the pathogen.