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Phytopathology

Atalya Keshet-Sitton
Alon Piasetzky
Nofar Shoshana 
Orit Dror 
Ofir Bahar

A decade ago, shoot proliferation symptoms (witches' broom) in carrots were believed to be the cause of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' and/or Spiroplasma infection, yet in recent years, this association appeared to have weakened and a closer association was found with the yet-unculturable, psyllid-transmitted Gram-negative bacterium, 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum'. In Israel, carrots are grown throughout the year, yet shoot proliferation symptoms tend to appear only in mature plants and mostly during late spring to early summer. We hypothesized that factors such as plant age, temperature and vector load, which vary along the year, have a critical effect on symptoms development and set to examine these factors under controlled conditions. Here we show that young carrot seedlings are as prone as older plants, to develop shoot proliferation symptoms, following 'Ca. L. solanacearum' inoculation. Surprisingly, we found that the local 'Ca. L. solanacearum' haplotype was extremely sensitive to constant temperature of 30˚C, which led to a significant reduction in bacterial growth and symptoms development, compared with 18˚C which was very conducive for symptoms development. We have also found that inoculations with 10 or 20 psyllids per plant results in faster symptoms development compared with inoculations with 2 psyllids per plant, however, the disease progress rate was insignificant among the different vector loads. These data provide important insight to the effects of plant age, temperature and vector load on 'Ca. L. solanacearum' and its associated symptoms and strengthen the notion that 'Ca. L. solanacearum' is the main responsible agent for carrot witches broom in Israel.

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Effect of Plant Age, Temperature and Vector Load on 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' in planta titer and Shoot Proliferation Symptoms in Carrot

Atalya Keshet-Sitton
Alon Piasetzky
Nofar Shoshana 
Orit Dror 
Ofir Bahar

Effect of Plant Age, Temperature and Vector Load on 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' in planta titer and Shoot Proliferation Symptoms in Carrot .

A decade ago, shoot proliferation symptoms (witches' broom) in carrots were believed to be the cause of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' and/or Spiroplasma infection, yet in recent years, this association appeared to have weakened and a closer association was found with the yet-unculturable, psyllid-transmitted Gram-negative bacterium, 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum'. In Israel, carrots are grown throughout the year, yet shoot proliferation symptoms tend to appear only in mature plants and mostly during late spring to early summer. We hypothesized that factors such as plant age, temperature and vector load, which vary along the year, have a critical effect on symptoms development and set to examine these factors under controlled conditions. Here we show that young carrot seedlings are as prone as older plants, to develop shoot proliferation symptoms, following 'Ca. L. solanacearum' inoculation. Surprisingly, we found that the local 'Ca. L. solanacearum' haplotype was extremely sensitive to constant temperature of 30˚C, which led to a significant reduction in bacterial growth and symptoms development, compared with 18˚C which was very conducive for symptoms development. We have also found that inoculations with 10 or 20 psyllids per plant results in faster symptoms development compared with inoculations with 2 psyllids per plant, however, the disease progress rate was insignificant among the different vector loads. These data provide important insight to the effects of plant age, temperature and vector load on 'Ca. L. solanacearum' and its associated symptoms and strengthen the notion that 'Ca. L. solanacearum' is the main responsible agent for carrot witches broom in Israel.

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