Spiroplasma citri, a helical motile, wall-less, and cultivable microorganism of the class Mollicutes, is the agent of the citrus stubborn disease. There is currently a lack of data about the presence of this pathogen in Moroccan citrus orchards. This study aims to validate serological and molecular methods for routine S. citri diagnosis in Moroccan citrus groves. To provide an update on the present status of the outbreak of the pathogen in Moroccan citrus orchards, a survey of S. citri was conducted in the main citrus-growing regions of Morocco. A total of 575 leaf samples were collected from citrus trees with symptoms attributable to S. citri infection. Samples were collected during 2020 and 2021 from 23 citrus orchards. The presence of S. citri was tested in all samples using the double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA). Using this method, 57 samples were found to be infected with S. citri, 41 samples had doubtful results, and the remaining samples were negative. To corroborate the results of the DAS-ELISA test, 148 samples were chosen for additional molecular testing using conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR (qPCR) based on specific primer pairs targeting three different genes (putative adhesion-like gene P58, putative adhesion gene P89, and spiralin gene). Using primers that target the putative adhesion-like gene P58, S. citri was detected by conventional and real-time PCR amplification from plant tissue with differing degrees of specificity. The results allowed us to determine the incidence of S. citri in all Moroccan citrus orchards, with a wide range of positive samples varying from 6.5% to 78%, and to show that molecular tests, particularly real-time PCR assays that target the putative adhesion-like gene P58, are the most sensitive for making an accurate diagnosis of S. citri. Indeed, the real-time PCR with P58-targeting primers yielded positive results from all positive and doubtful ELISA samples as well as some negative samples, with an OD value close to 1.5× times healthy samples, thus demonstrating a high sensibility of this technique

Comparison of Serological and Molecular Methods for Detection of Spiroplasma citri in Moroccan Citrus-Growing Areas

Polizzi, Giancarlo
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Spiroplasma citri, a helical motile, wall-less, and cultivable microorganism of the class Mollicutes, is the agent of the citrus stubborn disease. There is currently a lack of data about the presence of this pathogen in Moroccan citrus orchards. This study aims to validate serological and molecular methods for routine S. citri diagnosis in Moroccan citrus groves. To provide an update on the present status of the outbreak of the pathogen in Moroccan citrus orchards, a survey of S. citri was conducted in the main citrus-growing regions of Morocco. A total of 575 leaf samples were collected from citrus trees with symptoms attributable to S. citri infection. Samples were collected during 2020 and 2021 from 23 citrus orchards. The presence of S. citri was tested in all samples using the double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA). Using this method, 57 samples were found to be infected with S. citri, 41 samples had doubtful results, and the remaining samples were negative. To corroborate the results of the DAS-ELISA test, 148 samples were chosen for additional molecular testing using conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR (qPCR) based on specific primer pairs targeting three different genes (putative adhesion-like gene P58, putative adhesion gene P89, and spiralin gene). Using primers that target the putative adhesion-like gene P58, S. citri was detected by conventional and real-time PCR amplification from plant tissue with differing degrees of specificity. The results allowed us to determine the incidence of S. citri in all Moroccan citrus orchards, with a wide range of positive samples varying from 6.5% to 78%, and to show that molecular tests, particularly real-time PCR assays that target the putative adhesion-like gene P58, are the most sensitive for making an accurate diagnosis of S. citri. Indeed, the real-time PCR with P58-targeting primers yielded positive results from all positive and doubtful ELISA samples as well as some negative samples, with an OD value close to 1.5× times healthy samples, thus demonstrating a high sensibility of this technique
2023
citrus stubborn disease; Spiroplasma citri; Morocco; DAS-ELISA; PCR; real-time PCR
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/549383
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