Carrot (Daucus carota) plants with symptoms resembling those associated with the carrot psyllid Trioza apicalis and the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (1–4) were observed in 70 to 80% of commercial fields and experimental plots in southeastern Norway from late July to mid-September of 2011; all cultivars grown were affected with approximately 10 to 100% symptomatic plants per field. T. apicalis, a pest of carrot in northern and central Europe, including Norway, can cause as much as 100% crop loss and is associated with “Ca. L. solanacearum” (1–4). Symptoms on affected plants include leaf curling, yellow and purple discoloration of leaves, stunted growth of shoots and roots, and proliferation of secondary roots. Carrot plant samples were collected from five T. apicalis-infested fields in Ostfold, Vestfold, Oppland, and Hedmark counties. Total DNA was extracted from petiole and root tissues of 54 plants, including 27 symptomatic plants and 27 asymptomatic plants from four cultivars (Namdal, Panther, Romance, and Yukon) with the cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) buffer extraction method (2,3). DNA samples were tested by PCR assay using primer pairs OA2/OI2c and CL514F/R to amplify a portion of 16S rDNA and rplJ/rplL ribosomal protein genes, respectively, of “Ca. L. solanacearum” (2,3). A 1,168-bp 16S rDNA fragment was detected in the DNA from 22 (81.5%) symptomatic plants and a 668-bp rplJ/rplL fragment was amplified from the DNA of 26 (96.3%) symptomatic and 5 (18.5%) asymptomatic plants, indicating the presence of liberibacter. No liberibacter was detected in the asymptomatic carrot plants with the primer pair OA2/OI2c. Amplicons from the DNA of four carrot root samples with each primer pair were cloned (pCR2.1-TOPO; Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) and three clones of each of the eight amplicons were sequenced (MCLAB, San Francisco, CA). BLAST analysis of the 16S rDNA consensus sequence from the carrot root tissues (GenBank Accession No. JN863097) showed 100% identity to those of “Ca. L. solanacearum” previously amplified from carrot (GU373048 and GU373049) and T. apicalis (GU477254 and GU477255) in Finland (2,3). The rplJ/rplL consensus sequence from the carrots (GenBank Accession No. JN863098) was 99% identical to the sequences of rplJ/rplL “Ca. L. solanacearum” ribosomal protein gene from carrots in Finland (GU373050 and GU373051). To our knowledge, this is the first report of “Ca. L. solanacearum” associated with carrot in Norway. This bacterial species has caused millions of dollars in losses to potato and several other solanaceous crops in North and Central America and New Zealand (1). This plant pathogen has also been reported from carrots and T. apicalis in Finland, where it has caused significant economic damage to carrot crops (2–4).
References: (1) J. E. Munyaneza. Southwest. Entomol. 35:471, 2010. (2) J. E. Munyaneza et al. Plant Dis. 94:639, 2010. (3) J. E. Munyaneza et al. J. Econ. Entomol. 103:1060, 2010. (4) A. Nissinen et al. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 125:277, 2007.