Plant Pathology (2008) 57, 338-347

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Q.C. Wang and J.P.T. Valkonen (2008)
Efficient elimination of sweetpotato little leaf phytoplasma from sweetpotato by cryotherapy of shoot tips
Plant Pathology 57 (2), 338-347
Abstract: Shoot tips with 3-4 leaf primordia were excised from in vitro-grown sweetpotato plants (Ipomoea batatas) infected with little leaf phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia) and subjected to cryotherapy. All plants regenerated from the cryo-treated shoot tips were free of phytoplasma, whereas shoot tip culture or dehydration of shoot tips without subsequent cryotherapy resulted in phytoplasma-free plants at a frequency of only 7-10%. Histological and ultrastructural studies with light and transmission electron microscopy, respectively, indicated that cryotherapy was lethal to all cells except those in the apical dome of the meristem and the two youngest leaf primordia. These surviving parts of the shoot tip contained vascular tissue and sieve elements, but electron microscopy showed no phytoplasma in them. In contrast, an abundance of phytoplasma was found in sieve elements located at the lower, non-surviving parts of the shoot tip 1·0 or 1·5 mm from the apical dome. In the greenhouse, the plants in which phytoplasmas were not detected were healthy-looking, grew vigorously and were readily distinguished from the infected plants that exhibited little leaf and chlorosis symptoms, proliferation of axillary shoots and roots, stunting, and heavily reduced number and size of storage roots. In this study efficient elimination of phytoplasma and production of pathogen-tested plant stocks were achieved with the novel cryotherapy-based approach. The proposed advantage of the technique is that it can be simultaneously used for long-term storage of plant germplasm and for production of pathogen-free plants.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Jari P.T. Valkonen

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Phytoplasma aurantifolia Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)