Mycoplasma-like bodies inSolanum laciniatum plants infected with potato witches’ broom disease
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Mycoplasma-like organisms (MLO) spread from the infectious grafts intoSolanum laciniatumAit. stock plants relatively slowly. MLO were present in all sprouts ofS. laciniatum four weeks after grafting, but the infected plants remained under glasshouse conditions mostly symptomless and flowered normally and formed fruits like healthy plants. The growth of plants with infectious tomato grafts was identical with the controls but that of plants with infectious tobacco (Nicotiana glaucaGrah.) grafts was expressively stimulated. The first flower symptoms appeared onS. laciniatum plants with tomato grafts after five and half months and on.S. laciniatum plants with tobacco grafts after seven months of graft symbiosis. Electron micrographs of ultrathin sections showed the presence of MLO in sieve tubes of potiols and midribs of the infected but symptomless plants. In the phloem parenchyma cells of the witches’ broom diseased plants, highly ordered crystals were occasionally found lying in a microbody surrounded by a membrane. The possible reasons of the disease latency are discussed.
KeywordsBroom Sieve Tube Solasodine Tomatine Phloem Parenchyma Cell
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