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First Report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ from Atalantia buxifolia in Guangdong, China

    Affiliations
    Authors and Affiliations
    • X. Deng
    • Z. Lou
    • Z. Feng
    • H. Li , Laboratory of Citrus Huanglongbing Research, Department of Plant Pathology, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642, P. R. China
    • J. Chen
    • E. L. Civerolo , Crop Diseases, Pests, and Genetics Research Unit, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Parlier, CA 93648

      Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-92-2-0314C

      Atalantia buxifolia (Poir.) Oliv., synonym Severinia buxifolia (Poir.) Ten. as commonly found in literature, is a common landscape plant and a popular Chinese medicinal herb known as Jiubingle or Dongfengjie. It remains unclear if this rutaceous plant could host ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’, the pathogen of citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) in Guangdong, P. R. China. This information is important for HLB control in citrus because infected A. buxifolia could serve as a source of inoculum. In August of 1994, three A. buxifolia plants adjacent to a citrus experimental orchard of the South China Agricultural University at Guangzhou were found showing leaf mottle/yellowing symptoms. Two buds from each plant were grafted onto three mandarin trees (Citrus reticulata cv. Pongan) in a psyllid-proof screenhouse for indexing. By October of 1995, typical leaf mottle symptoms were observed in all three grafted trees compared with a healthy control. In March of 1996, one of the A. buxifolia plants was transferred to a screenhouse and has been maintained there. The leaf mottle/yellowing symptoms persisted but did not significantly affect plant growth. DNA was extracted from leaf samples in October 2006 by using the CTAB (cetyltrimethylammoniumbromide) method and assayed by nested-PCR using the general bacterial 16S rDNA primer set fDl/rD1 as the first round of amplification and primer set OI1/OI2c as second round amplification (1,3). After agarose gel electrophoresis and staining with ethidium bromide, an approximate 1.1-kb DNA band was detected in symptomatic samples but not healthy leaf samples of A. buxifolia and C. reticulata. XbaI digestion of the amplicons yielded approximate 500- and 600-bp fragments, characteristic of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’. Similarly, a standard PCR with primer set A5/J2 (3) yielded an approximate 700-bp DNA band characteristic of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ from symptomatic samples only. To our knowledge, this is the first report of graft transmission and PCR detection of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ from A. buxifolia in Guangdong, P. R. China. This work also confirms the findings from Taiwan (2) that A. buxifolia could serve as a source of ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’.

      References: (1) X. Deng et al. Online publication. doi:10.1094/PHP-2007-0419-01-BR. Plant Health Progress, 2007. (2) T.-H. Hung et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 107:183, 2001. (3) S. Jagoueix et al. Mol. Cell. Probes 10:43, 1996.