Present status of citrus leprosis in Argentina and Paraguay


Trop. plant pathol.




Citrus leprosis (CL) was first described in South America in the 1920's. It is considered similar to a disease first observed back to 1860 in Florida. It is a destructive disease characterized by localized lesions on the leaves, fruits and stems, which may lead to the death of the affected plant if left untreated. Around 1940, CL was demonstrated to be transmitted by Brevipalpus mites in Argentina. Because little information exists on the status of CL pathosystem in Argentina and Paraguay, a survey was made in several citrus growing areas of these countries from 2009 to 2011, to evaluate its presence and relevance as well as the identification of the virus and the mite vector. CL was found in most of the sweet orange and/or mandarin orchards in Paraguay (Departamentos de Boquerón, Concepción, San Pedro, Cordillera, Alto Paraná, Itapúa) and Argentina (Provincias de Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos). Incidence was usually low. The causal virus was identified as Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C) by RT-PCR, electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. In all the visited regions in Paraguay and the region of Montecarlo, Argentina, the mites collected in plants infected by CiLV-C were identified as B. phoenicis.

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