Submitted to: Journal of Biologia Tropical
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Viroids are the smallest infectious agents known and in certain higher plant species they are the cause of various diseases. Citrus exocortis viroid is the cause of a destructive disease of citrus and poor tree performance. Citrus trees have also been found to harbor several other groups of viroids, some of which are quite severe in the disease they cause. Citrus is one of Costa Rica's most important nontraditional export crops. The presence of citrus viroid diseases has been suspected in commercial fields and experimental plots prior to our survey. This report is the first confirmation of the presence of citrus exocortis viroid and other citrus viroids in Costa Rica. This report will benefit citrus growers and quarantine officials by documenting the need for cultivation practices that eliminate the sources of infection in the field and the need for routine testing of incoming citrus stock to prevent the introduction of infected materials.
Technical Abstract: A survey for citrus viroids was conducted in the major citrus commercial growing areas in Costa Rica. Screening of 36 sweet orange and 12 lemon trees resulted in the detection of members of four of the five citrus viroid groups as determined by nucleic acid hybridization using specific RNA probes and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using specific oligonucleotide primers.