Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #239920

Title: First Report of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum in Pepper Plants in Mexico

item Munyaneza, Joseph - Joe
item SENGODA, VENKATESAN - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Crosslin, James
item GARZON-TIZNADA, JOSE - Autonomous University Of Sinaloa
item CARDENAS-VALENZUELA, ORALIA - Autonomous University Of Sinaloa

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2009
Publication Date: 9/10/2009
Citation: Munyaneza, J.E., Sengoda, V.G., Crosslin, J., Garzon-Tiznada, J.A., Cardenas-Valenzuela, O.G. 2009. First Report of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum in Pepper Plants in Mexico. Plant Disease. 93:1076.

Interpretive Summary: Zebra chip, an emerging and important potato disease that is causing millions of dollars in losses to the potato industry in United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand, has recently been associated with a new species of the bacterium Liberibacter transmitted by the potato psyllid. Although this plant pathogen has so far been found to infect few other important crops, little is known on its plant host range and geographical distribution. Researchers at USDA-ARS Wapato and Prosser, in collaboration with scientists at Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa in Mexico conducted studies to identify crops that are affected by this damaging plant pathogen. For the first time, it was discovered that, in Mexico, this bacterium infects and causes disease in bell peppers. Information from this research will help affected vegetable producers in North America reduce damage caused by this important pathogen by effectively managing the potato psyllid, its insect vector.

Technical Abstract: Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants exhibiting symptoms that resemble those of potato psyllid damage and/or ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ infection were observed in La Cruz de Elota, Sinaloa, México in March 2009. The plants had chlorotic or pale green leaves and exhibited leaf cupping, sharp tapering of the leaf apex, shortened internodes, chlorotic apical growth, and overall stunting. Pepper plants were collected and total DNA was extracted from the vascular tissue of nine symptomatic and five asymptomatic plants with CTAB buffer. DNA samples were tested by PCR using primer pair OA2/OI2c specific for 16S rDNA and primer pair CL514F/R designed from ribosomal protein genes. Seven (77.8%) and eight (88.9%) of nine symptomatic pepper plants yielded the expected 1,168 bp 16S rDNA (OA2/OI2c) and 669 bp CL514F/R amplicons, respectively, indicating the presence of liberibacter. Nucleic acid from asymptomatic pepper plants yielded no product with these primers. Three amplicons generated from symptomatic pepper plants with each primer pair were cloned into pCRII-TOPO plasmid vectors (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) and three clones of each of these amplicons were subsequently sequenced in both directions (ACGT, Inc., Wheeling, IL). BLAST analysis of the symptomatic pepper plants OA2/OI2c consensus sequence showed 100% identity to liberibacter 16S rDNA sequences amplified from zebra chip (ZC)-infected potato tubers from Lancaster, CA and Weslaco, TX. The symptomatic pepper plants CL514F/R consensus sequence was 100% identical to analogous rplJ and rplL ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ ribosomal protein gene sequences amplified from ZC-infected potato tubers from Lancaster, CA and from several solanaceous plants in New Zealand. The OA2/OI2c sequence was also identical to the 16S sequence of ‘Ca. Liberibacter psyllaurous’. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ associated with bell pepper in México.