PCR detection of palm lethal yellowing phytoplasm
Studies have been carried out in Florida (US) in order to develop suitable PCR primers for specific detection of palm lethal yellowing phytoplasm (EPPO A1 quarantine pest). With these primers it has been possible to achieve reliable and reproducible detection of palm lethal yellowing phytoplasm in palm inflorescence spikelets and in leaflets of the least mature leaves. However, it was difficult to detect the pathogen in mature leaves, probably because of an uneven distribution. However, this study confirms the effectiveness of PCR as a detection method. In practice, sampling and PCR analysis of leaflets of the least mature palm leaves could provide a diagnostic of the disease. The authors concluded that PCR will be a useful tool for a better understanding of the disease epidemiology, e.g. for studies on its putative vector biology (Myndus crudus), host resistance and identification of alternative host plants.
Harrison, N.A.; Richardson, P.A.; Kramer, J.B.; Tsai, J.H. (1994) Detection of the mycoplasma-like organism associated with lethal yellowing disease of palms in Florida by polymerase chain reaction.
Plant Pathology, 43 (6), 998-1008.