First Report of Xylella fastidiosa Infecting Citrus in Costa Rica
Aguilar Alvarez, Estela Yamileth
Villalobos Muller, William
Moreira Carmona, Lisela
Rodríguez Solís, Carlos Mario
Kitajima, Elliot Watanabe
Rivera Herrero, Carmen
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Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is an important disease mainly of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) cultivars. It was first described in Brazil in the state of Sā Paulo in 1987 (4). The disease has spread to all Brazilian states that grow citrus and is affecting more than one-third of the orange trees grown in Brazil. CVC is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a xylem-limited, gram-negative bacterium. During the last 4 years, symptoms including leaf interveinal chlorosis, stunting, canopy dieback, and hard and undersized fruits, similar to those caused by CVC (3), appeared in sweet orange trees used as shade plants for coffee plantations and as fence posts in Costa Rica. Necrotic lesions on the abaxial side of the leaves as reported in Brazil were rarely observed. Leaf petiole samples from 25 symptomatic sweet orange trees reacted positively with a X fastidiosa-specific antiserum (AGDIA Inc., Elkart, IN) in a double-sandwich antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA). A fastidious, gram negative bacterium identified as X. fastidiosa using DAS-ELISA was isolated on perwinkle wilt (PW) medium plates (1) from citrus stems showing CVC symptoms, but not from asymptomatic trees. The isolated colonies were circular and opalescent with diameters of 2 to 3 mm and were clearly visible within 6 to 7 days after streaking. Petiole sections from symptomatic plants observed with scanning electron microscopy showed rod-shaped bacteria with rippled cell walls tightly packed in xylem vessels, as described for X. fastidiosa previously (2), and with transmission electron microscopy, the bacteria were morphologically similar to those reported previously for CVC (2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of X. fastidiosa associated with citrus in Costa Rica.
Copyright 2005 American Phytopathology Society Journals.
- Agronomía 
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