OCCURRENCE OF CITRUS HUANGLONGBING IN CUBA AND ASSOCIATION OF THE DISEASE WITH CANDIDATUS LIBERIBACTER ASIATICUS
M. Luis, C. Collazo, R. Llauger, E. Blanco, I. Peña, D. López, C. González, J.C. Casín, L. Batista, E. Kitajima, F.A.O. Tanaka, R.B. Salaroli, D.C. Teixeira, E.C. Martins, J.M. Bové
Huanglongbing (HLB), the most devastating citrus disease in the world, has been recently seen in Cuba. Characteristic HLB fruit symptoms, blotchy-mottled leaves and yellow shoots were observed on trees of several citrus varieties and species in urban areas of Havana city, and in citrus groves from the central, western and eastern parts of the country. The presence of only Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus in symptomatic citrus plants and in adult individuals of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Transmission electron microscopy showed liberibacter-like structures to be exclusively located in the sieve tubes. DNA fragments amplified from the rplKAJL-rpoBC operon were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analyses revealed 100% identity with the corresponding sequences of ribosomal rpl protein genes from Ca. L. asiaticus.