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Characterization of a γ-3 Proteobacteria Responsible for the Syndrome “Basses Richesses” of Sugar Beet Transmitted by Pentastiridius sp. (Hemiptera, Cixiidae)

January 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  1
Pages  72 - 78

Olivier Sémétey , Frédéric Gatineau , Alberto Bressan , and Elisabeth Boudon-Padieu

Biologie et écologie des Phytoplasmes, UMR PME, INRA 1088, CNRS 5184, Université de Bourgogne, INRA Domaine d'Epoisses, BP 86510, 21065 Dijon cedex, France

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Accepted for publication 17 August 2006.

The disease syndrome “basses richesses” (SBR) has affected sugar beet crops in Burgundy (France) since 1991. It mainly is associated with an uncultivable phloem-restricted bacterium-like organism (BLO) called SBR BLO. Transmission tests showed that field-collected Pentastiridius sp. (Hemiptera, Cixiidae) were able to transmit the SBR BLO to sugar beet. In the present work, sequences of a 1,507-bp 16S ribosomal (r)DNA fragment of SBR BLO were amplified from DNA extracts of SBR-affected field sugar beet plants, of field-collected Pentastiridius sp. plant-hoppers, and of Pentastiridiussp.-exposed sugar beet seedlings that expressed SBR symptoms. The sequences showed total identity, confirming the role of SBR BLO in the etiology of SBR and the vector role of Pentastiridius sp. Our surveys on SBR-affected sugar beet plants and Pentastiridius sp. planthoppers collected in different fields and different years suggest that a unique BLO was involved in SBR. Furthermore, comparison of 16S rDNA sequences permitted the identification of the SBR BLO as a new plant-pathogenic γ-3 proteobacteria different from ‘Candidatus Phlomobacter fragariae,’ another BLO responsible for marginal chlorosis disease of strawberry in France. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a close relationship between the SBR bacterium and several bacteria described as endosymbionts of hemipteran insects.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society