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Mycoplasmalike Bodies Associated with Lethal Declines of Palms in Florida. D. L. Thomas, Assistant professor, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research Center, 3205 SW 70 Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 33314; Phytopathology 69:928-934. Accepted for Publication 23 January 1979. Copyright 1979 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-69-928.

Mycoplasmalike bodies (MLB) were observed in sieve elements in tissues sampled from 21 palm species showing symptoms of lethal declines. Evidence suggested that these lethal declines are identical to lethal yellowing of coconut palms. The MLB were found most readily near the apical meristem in the bases of young petioles which had not emerged. Although MLB filled sieve elements in a few vascular bundles, their overall concentration generally was low. An analysis of measurements from 2,971 MLB photographed from thin sections, indicated that MLB populations were comprised of filamentous forms with a mean diameter of 142 nm, and nonfilamentous forms with a mean diameter of 295 nm. Filamentous forms were predominantly oriented parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sieve elements.

Additional keywords: lethal yellowing.