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Mycoplasmalike Organisms Associated with Lethal Yellowing Disease of Palms. M. V. Parthasarathy, Section of Genetics, Development and Physiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14850; Phytopathology 64:667-674. Accepted for publication 26 November 1973. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-64-667.

Polymorphic, mycoplasmalike organisms were present in the sieve elements of young inflorescences of coconut, pritchardia, and veitchia palms affected by the lethal yellowing disease. The microorganisms were confined to recently matured protophloem and early metaphloem elements, and were rarely present in mature late metaphloem sieve elements. The organisms apparently moved from one sieve element to another through the sieve-plate pores along with the assimilate stream. The similarity of diagnostic symptoms of lethal yellowing in coconuts, pritchardias, and veitchias, and the occurrence of mycoplasmalike organisms in the sieve elements of all the three diseased palms during the earliest symptom of the disease, not only suggest that the three are affected by the same disease, but also suggest a mycoplasmalike etiology for lethal yellowing. This is the first detailed report of mycoplasmalike organisms in the phloem of diseased palms in Florida.

Additional keywords: electron microscopy.