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Brote Grande, A New Phytoplasma Associated Disease of Chile Peppers in the Desert Southwest

J. J. Randall, P. W. Bosland, and S. F. Hanson

March 2011

Research

Chile producers in New Mexico recently reported a disorder of unknown etiology, observed with increasing frequency. Affected plants have a bushy appearance, develop overly large green calyces instead of normal flowers, and fail to set fruit. This characteristic phyllody has led the disorder to be referred to as “brote grande” and is reminiscent of the aberrant flower development associated with tomato big bud, a phytoplasma disease of tomatoes. Microscopic analysis, along with PCR detection using phytoplasma specific primer sets, indicates that brote grande disease is associated with a novel phytoplasma. Field surveys indicate that this new disease is widely distributed at low levels across chile production areas in New Mexico and Arizona.

doi:10.1094/PHP-2011-0301-01-RS

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