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Incidence, Distribution, and Association of Spongospora subterranea and Potato mop-top virus in Costa Rica

August 2008 , Volume 92 , Number  8
Pages  1,171 - 1,176

Mauricio Montero-Astúa and Viviana Vasquéz, Centro de Investigación en Biología Celular y Molecular (CIBCM), Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), San Pedro 2060, Costa Rica; William W. Turechek, United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service, Subtropical Plant Pathology Unit, Fort Pierce, FL 34945; Ueli Merz, Plant Pathology, Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; and Carmen Rivera, CIBCM and Facultad de Microbiología, UCR

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Accepted for publication 17 March 2008.

A survey was conducted in 39 potato (Solanum tuberosum) fields in Costa Rica to determine incidence and association of Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea and Potato mop-top pomovirus (PMTV). The fields were located in Costa Rica's two major potato-production regions and were further characterized by their altitude. In all, 633 paired samples of leaf tissue and corresponding tubers were collected, assessed visually for disease, and subsequently assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). S. subterranea presence in tuber tissue was tested by double-antibody sandwich (DAS)-ELISA and PMTV presence in leaf and tuber tissues was tested by triple-antibody sandwich (TAS)-ELISA. Moreover, soil samples were collected from 10 fields surveyed and were evaluated for both pathogens via ELISA and bioassay. The incidence of both diseases ranged from 0 to 100% within individual fields, with incidences lower than 40% occurring in more than 70% of the fields. Higher incidences were found in fields located at higher altitudes. Of the 633 paired samples, 179 and 146 were positive for PMTV and S. subterranea, respectively, according to ELISA in either the foliage or tubers. A low correlation was found for PMTV visual symptoms and ELISA test results. Only 14 of the 81 foliar samples testing positive for PMTV had visual symptoms; the remaining 67 samples were asymptomatic. Conversely, comparison of visual evaluation with detection of S. subterranea by ELISA on tubers showed that 70% of the results were coincident. S. subterranea was detected in 4 of 10 soil samples tested by ELISA. Soilborne PMTV was detected by ELISA in roots of bait plants sown in these soil samples. Co-occurrence of both pathogens was detected in 64 samples. A significant but low degree of association for vector and virus was determined, and data suggests that S. subterranea is participating in the transmission of PMTV in Costa Rica in low frequency.

Additional keywords:epidemiology

The American Phytopathological Society, 2008