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Disease Note.

Detection of Potyvirus-like Particles Associated with Oil Palms (Elaeis guineensis) in Ecuador. C. Rivera, Centro de Investigacion en Biologia Celular y Molecular, Universidad de Costa Rica. R. Pereira, and L. Moreira, Centro de Investigacion en Biologia Celular y Molecular, Universidad de Costa Rica; C. Chinchilla, A.S.D. de Costa Rica. Plant Dis. 80:1301. Accepted for publication 3 September 1996. Copyright 1996 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-80-1301D.

Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) seedlings showing a conspicuous mottling, composed of alternating dark green and chlorotic areas in the form of discontinuous streaks or irregular ring patterns, were observed in the occidental region of Ecuador. Leaves from normal and symptomatic plants were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The leaf-dip preparations and partially purified preparations from symptomatic plants consistently contained filamentous, flexuous, rod-shaped, viral particles of approximately 682 x 13 nm. The size and morphology of the particles resemble those previously reported for palm mosaic virus, a virus that is tentatively placed in the potyviridae (1). Cylindrical inclusion (CI) bodies containing laminated aggregates, nuclear fibrillar inclusion bodies, viral particles scattered in the cytoplasm, and bundles of particles attached to CI plates and to the tonoplast were only observed in thin sections of symptomatic leaf tissue. CI bodies were similar to those reported for palm mosaic virus (1). The size and morphology of the particles and the type of the inclusion bodies observed are similar to those of potyviruses. Therefore, we suggest that the symptoms observed in oil palm are caused by a potyvirus, which is probably palm mosaic virus. This is the first report of a potyvirus infecting Elaeis guineensis in Ecuador.

Reference: (1) D. E. Mayhew and T. E. Tidwell. Plant Dis. Rep 62:803. 1978.