Development and morphological changes in leaves and branches of acid lime (Citrus aurantifolia) affected by witches' broom

Rashid Abdullah Al-Yahyai, Abdullah Mohammed Al-Sadi*, Fahad Al Said, Zakiya Hilal Alkalbani, Claudine Márcia Carvalho, Simon Luke Elliot, Assunta Bertaccini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Witches' broom (WB), associated with the presence of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia', is one of the most serious diseases of acid lime. This study determined incidence, distribution, and development of the disease, and morphological changes in leaves and branches of affected host plants. Survey in different parts of Oman showed that WB occurs in most regions in the country, where 108 out of 158 (68%) surveyed farms were found to have diseased trees. A survey of 6,926 acid lime trees showed that severity of WB was positively related (r = 0.948; P<0.01) to tree age. The mean percentage of symptomatic branches was 1% in 3-year-old trees compared to 63% in 12-year-old trees. To further characterize morphological changes in WB-affected limes, apical stems (40 cm long) were collected from three infected trees during the autumn of 2009 and spring of 2010. Increases in the numbers of leaves (1,208%), numbers of branches (309%) and total length of branches (712%) were recorded for symptomatic branches relative to non-symptomatic branches. In the spring of 2009 these respective increases were 159%, 243% and 121%.Overall area of leaves in the symptomatic branches was 81% less than for non-symptomatic branches in the autumn of 2009 and 34% less in the spring of 2010. This study is the first to characterize morphological changes in leaves and branches of acid lime affected by WB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalPhytopathologia Mediterranea
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia'
  • Phytoplasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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