Corn Stunt Spiroplasma: Isolation, Cultivation, and Proof of Pathogenicity

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Science  06 Jun 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4192, pp. 1015-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4192.1015


A spiroplasma isolated from corn infected with corn stunt disease has been successfully cultivated in vitro. Acid formation was associated with its growth in liquid medium, and fried egg-shaped or granulated colonies developed on solid agar medium. Healthy leafhopper vectors injected with or allowed to feed on isolates from various serial passages through liquid medium were able to transmit the corn stunt agent to healthy corn plants, inducing typical corn stunt disease in the plants. The spiroplasma was reisolated and cultivated from such diseased plants and was indistinguishable morphologically from the original isolates. These results provide the first definite proof that the corn stunt disease is caused by the corn stunt spiroplasma.

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