The Plant Pathology Journal 2002;18(6):301-307.
Published online December 31, 2002.
Graft Transmission and Cytopathology of Pear Black Necrotic Leaf Spot(PBNLS) Disease
Ki Woong Nam, Kyung Soo Kim
Abstract
Graft transmission and cytopathological studies of a severe pear disease, pear black necrotic leafspot (PBNLS), were carried out to determine the causal agent of the disease. No evidence was found that a fungal or bacterial pathogen could be the causal agent of the disease. Attempts to transmit the agent by sap-inoculation to other plants including herbaceous hosts failed. However, the pathogen was readily graft-transmitted from symptomatic diseased pears to healthy pears. Graft transmission of the pathogen was also demonstrated by using an indicator plant, PS-95, developed in the laboratory through various grafting methods. Ultrastructural study of the disease revealed the consistent presence of flexuous rod-shaped virus-like particles (VLP) in the symptomatic leaves of both Niitaka cultivar and indicator pear, PS-95. The particles, approximately 12 nm in diameter with undetermined length, occurred in the cytoplasm of mesophyll parenchyma cells. Cells with VLPs also contained fibril-containing vesicles, which are common in cells infected with plant viruses with ssRNA genome. The vesicles were formed at the tonoplast. Based on the symptomatology, the presence of fibril-containing vesicles, and graft-transmissibility, it is believed that the VLPs that occurred on symptomatic leaves of black necrotic leafspot of pear are viral in nature, possibly those of a capillovirus.
Key Words: capillovirus, fibril-containing vesicles, graft-transmissibility, ssRNA, tonoplast


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