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  • Author or Editor: B. Tangsukkasemsan x
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Plum leaf scald (PLS) caused by the organism Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most serious diseases of plum. After X. fastidiosa was identified as the causal agent for PLS, a feral source (Starcher no. 1) was used extensively in the breeding program. Microscopic (phase contrast) examinations of vacuum extracts and petiole squashes and later ELISA were used to determine PLS infection and later were correlated with a rating index for PLS and tree longevity. Cultivars, species, and their progeny, including Prunus americana, P. angustifolia, P. cerasifera, P. munsoniana, P. salicina, P. simoni, P. bullata, and P. triflora were evaluated. Observations indicate that resistance is heritable and controlled by recessive genes. ELISA and visual observation indicated that an Auburn Univ. seedling (CD 122) was free from this disease.

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Naturally infected plum leaves were collected during Aug. and Sept. 1994 to evaluated for the presence of Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of plum leaf scald (PLS). Leaves were from trees at least 4 years old in variety trials at four locations in Alabama. ELISA tests for X. fastidiosa were used to determine the presence of the organism in infected trees. The symptoms also were evaluated with a rating index for PLS. Some plum cultivars (i.e., `AU-Producer', `Morris', `Explorer', and `AU-Cherry') showed high tolerance to PLS. Both ELISA tests and visual observation indicated that an Auburn Univ. seedling (CD-l 22) was free from this disease. PLS infection was lower in North Alabama compared to Central Alabama.

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