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Axenic Culture of a Plant Pathogenic Spiroplasma


EVIDENCE has accumulated that a number of insect-transmitted plant diseases of the “yellows” group result from the infection of plants by organisms resembling mycoplasmas1–2. Circumstantial evidence suggests that two such diseases, corn stunt and citrus stubborn, may be caused by a novel type of helical prokaryotic microorganism lacking a cell wall, for which the trivial name “spiroplasma” has been proposed3. The agent of corn stunt has so far defied attempts at culture in a cell-free medium and although an organism associated with citrus stubborn disease has been successfully cultured from diseased plants4,5 it has not, to our knowledge, been shown to be a plant pathogen.

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DANIELS, M., MARKHAM, P., MEDDINS, B. et al. Axenic Culture of a Plant Pathogenic Spiroplasma. Nature 244, 523–524 (1973).

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