Absence of Transovarial Transmission of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi’ in the Vector Amplicephalus curtulus Linnavuori & DeLong (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae): Is It a Rule More Than an Exception?
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‘Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi’ (Elm yellows, 16SrV-A), transmitted by Amplicephalus curtulus Linnavuori & DeLong (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), has been found in native Chilean plants, and transovarial transmission has been considered as a possible form of transmission. An analysis to detect the presence of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi’ and other phytoplasmas in A. curtulus eggs, nymphs of the first and fifth instars were carried out in two experiments using nested PCR and DNA sequencing. The first experiment showed the natural acquisition of phytoplasma by adult females, and the second demonstrated the acquisition of phytoplasma in controlled conditions. Results showed that eggs and the first and fifth instars were not positive for phytoplasmas in nested PCR. ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi’ was detected and identified on average 10 and 47% of the adult females used in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Other phytoplasma (X-disease group) was also found in adult females used in the experiment 1. We demonstrate that although gravid females contain phytoplasmas, they are not able to transmit them to their progeny, confirming that transovarial transmission of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi’ does not occur in A. curtulus.
KeywordsElm yellows leafhopper phytoplasma transovarial transmission X-disease
This work was supported by Grant for Doctoral thesis AT-24100081 and Chilean program of scholarship for graduate students D-21080534 by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, CONICYT, Chile.
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