Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Probes. 2008 Jun;22(3):139-50. doi: 10.1016/j.mcp.2007.12.006. Epub 2008 Feb 26.

Distribution and quantification of Candidatus Liberibacter americanus, agent of huanglongbing disease of citrus in São Paulo State, Brasil, in leaves of an affected sweet orange tree as determined by PCR.

Author information

Fundecitrus, Av. Dr. Adhemar Pereira de Barros, 201, CEP 14807-040 Araraquara, SP, Brazil.


Huanglongbing (HLB), an insect-transmitted disease of citrus, known for many years in Asia and Africa, has appeared in the state of São Paulo State (SSP), Brazil, in 2004, and the state of Florida, USA, in 2005. HLB endangers the very existence of citrus, as trees infected with the bacterial pathogen, irrevocably decline. In the absence of curative procedures, control of HLB is difficult and only based on prevention. Even though not available in culture, the HLB bacterium could be shown to be Gram-negative and to represent a new candidate genus, Candidatus Liberibacter, in the alpha subdivision of the Proteobacteria. Three Candidatus (Ca.) L. species occur: Ca. L. africanus in Africa, Ca. L. asiaticus in Asia, SSP, and Florida, and Ca. L. americanus in SSP. The liberibacters occur exclusively in the phloem sieve tubes. On affected trees, HLB symptoms are often seen on certain branches only, suggesting an uneven distribution of the Liberibacter. Occurrence of Ca. L. americanus, the major HLB agent in SSP, has been examined in 822 leaf samples from an affected sweet orange tree by two conventional PCR techniques and a newly developed real time (RTi) PCR, also used for quantification of the Liberibacter in the leaves. Even though RTi-PCR was able to detect as few as 10 liberibacters per gram of leaf tissue (l/g), no liberibacters could be detected in any of the many leaf samples from a symptomless branch, while in blotchy mottle leaves from symptomatic branches of the same tree, the Liberibacter titer reached values as high as 10(7)l/g. These results demonstrate the uneven distribution of the Liberibacter in HLB-affected trees.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center