Role of the helix aspersa snail as a vector of phytophthora citrophthora causing branch cankers on clementine trees in Spain

L. A. Alvarez, D. Gramaje, P. Abad-Campos, J. García-Jiménez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the suspected role of invertebrate vectors in the transmission of phytophthora branch canker, a severe disease of clementine cultivars in Spain, caused by Phytophthora citrophthora. Ants (Lasius grandis) and snails (Helix aspersa and Rumina decollata) were collected in spring and autumn 2005 from 15 commercial citrus fields which were severely affected by the disease. Isolations made from L. grandis and R. decollata bodies did not yield positive results. However, P. citrophthora was isolated from 5·0% of bodies of H. aspersa and 4·8% of samples of their faeces. In one assay, after snails were allowed to feed for 5 h on citrus branches which had been artificially infected with P. citrophthora, the pathogen was isolated from 79% of their faeces. In another experiment, snails were infested by placing them in contact with a substrate colonized by P. citrophthora and then transferred to the base of potted 4-year-old trees of cvs Clemenules, Fortune and Nova in the glasshouse. One day after their release, infested snails were widely distributed throughout the tree canopies and 10 days later bark discoloration and gum exudations were observed on the trees. Phytophthora citrophthora was readily isolated from tissues showing symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-963
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Pathology
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Citrus clementina
  • Inoculum transport
  • Lasius grandis
  • Phytophthora palmivora
  • Rumina decollata
  • Snail faeces

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