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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 May;56(5):1471-5.

Nonradioactive screening method for isolation of disease-specific probes to diagnose plant diseases caused by mycoplasmalike organisms.

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Microbiology and Plant Pathology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.


DNA fragments of tomato big bud (BB) mycoplasmalike organism (MLO) in diseased periwinkle plants (Catharanthus roseus L.) were cloned to pSP6 plasmid vectors and amplified in Escherichia coli JM83. A nonradioactive method was developed and used to screen for MLO-specific recombinants. Cloned DNA probes were prepared by nick translation of the MLO recombinant plasmids by using biotinylated nucleotides. The probes all hybridized with nucleic acid from BB MLO-infected, but not healthy, plants. Results from dot hybridization analyses indicated that several MLOs, e.g., those of Italian tomato big bud, periwinkle little leaf, and clover phyllody, are closely related to BB MLO. The Maryland strain of aster yellows and maize bushy stunt MLOs are also related to BB MLO. Among the remaining MLOs used in this study, Vinca virescence and elm yellows MLOs may be very distantly related, if at all, to BB MLO. Potato witches' broom, clover proliferation, ash yellows, western X, and Canada X MLOs are distantly related to BB MLO. Southern hybridization analyses revealed that BB MLO contains extrachromosomal DNA that shares sequence homologies with extrachromosomal DNAs from aster yellows and periwinkle little leaf MLOs.


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