Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Phytoplasmas are bacteria-like organisms that infect many plants and often cause serious crop losses. Strawberry plants also can be infected by phytoplasmas, causing fruit losses as well as plant death. It has been only recently that research has focused on identifying and characterizing phytoplasmas from strawberry and associating their presence with disease symptoms. In the course of this work, we have identified one of the phytoplasmas infecting strawberry as a new strain belonging to the clover yellow edge group of phytoplasmas. This phytoplasma, called the strawberry leafy fruit phytoplasma, causes plant dwarfing, leaf yellowing, and foliar growth development from the fruit, followed by death of the plant. This is the first report of this phytoplasma and a molecular description is provided for identification of this phytoplasma in the future. This information will be of use to scientists and extension personnel who are concerned with diseases of strawberry.
Technical Abstract: In a survey of phytoplasma-infected strawberry plants from several North American locations, we determined that certain phytoplasmas were associated with plants that produced fruit exhibiting phyllody, and, in some instances, plant stunting and leaf chlorosis suggestive of phytoplasma infection. The phytoplasma characterized here is the fourth of four distinct phytoplasmas we have found associated with failed of strawberry fruit: strawberry multicipita (SM) phytoplasma (16S rRNA group VI, subgroup B), STRAWB2 phytoplasma (16S rRNA group I, subgroup K), clover yellow edge (CYE) phytoplasma (16S rRNA group III, subgroup B), and a new group III phytoplasma, strawberry leafy fruit (SLF) phytoplasma, classified in 16S rRNA group III, subgroup K (III-K). We apply the term "strawberry leafy fruit" to designate the strawberry disease associated with infection by the phytoplasma belonging to subgroup III-K.