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Detection of a Plant Pathogen in a Nonvector Insect Species by the Polymerase Chain Reaction. Fernando E. Vega, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, Current address: Mycotoxin Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604; Robert E. Davis(2), Pedro Barbosa(3), Ellen L. Dally(4), Alexander H. Purcell(5), and Ing-Ming Lee(6). (2)(4)(6)Microbiology and Plant Pathology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705; (3)Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park 20742; (5)Department of Entomological Sciences, University of California, Berkeley 94720. Phytopathology 83:621-624. Accepted for publication 16 February 1993. Copyright 1993 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-83-621.

A nonculturable mycoplasmalike plant pathogen was detected in a leafhopper species capable of transmitting the pathogen as well as in a leafhopper species that does not vector the pathogen. Amplification of a pathogen-specific DNA sequence by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revealed the presence of pathogen DNA in total nucleic acid extracts of the vector insect Macrosteles fascifrons and of the nonvector insect Dalbulus maidis, both of which had fed on plants infected by the aster yellows mycoplasmalike organism.