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Detection of mixed infection of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus and phytoplasma in peach trees in Egypt

Detection of mixed infection of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus and phytoplasma in peach trees in Egypt

Salama M. El-Saghir1, 2


Background: Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV), family Bromoviridae, genus Ilarvirus is known
to infect stone fruit trees and causes extensive economic losses in Egypt. Distinctive symptoms with
PNRSV are necrotic ring spots on leaves, bud failure and poor quantity and quality of fruits. Upon
continuous observation of peach trees previously known to be infected with PNRSV, additional
suspected symptoms of phytoplasma infection were detected. These involved leaf yellowing and
withering, reduction in fruit size, malformation of fruits (where two or three fruits were attached
together), and tree death were observed.
Objective: The objective of this study is to characterize the nature of this disease complex through
examining the incidence of PNRSV and phytoplasma in these trees.
Methods: The incidence of PNRSV in the peach trees understudy was confirmed with DAS-ELISA
using an authentic antiserum for PNRSV. The incidence of phytoplasma as a second pathogen in the
trees was PCR tested using the universal primers for phytoplasma detection, P1/P7, in the first step.
The PCR products were re‐amplified with nested‐PCR to verify phytoplasma incidence using the
nested primers R16F2/R2.
Results: DAS-ELISA confirmed the presence of PNRSV in the tested peach trees. For phytoplasma
incidence, the universal primers P1/P7 amplified one fragment of about 1800 bp in length. Nested PCR
amplified amplicons of 1,200 bp; hence confirming the presence of phytoplasma in these trees.
Negative results were obtained when total DNA obtained from healthy peach leaves was used as a
Conclusion: The present study confirms the incidence of mixed infection with both PNRSV and
phytoplsama(s). Due to limited information on the infection of peach with phytoplasmas in Egypt,
larger surveys should be carried out to study the occurrence of PNRSV-phytoplasma disease complex
and their corresponding insect vectors.

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Journal of Virological Sciences


Vol. 3, Iss. 1


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