Ultrastructural changes in aster yellows phytoplasma affected Limonium sinuatum Mill. plants II. Pathology of cortex parenchyma cells

Anna Rudzińska-Langwald, Maria Kamińska


In Limonium sinuatum Mill, plants with severe symptoms of aster yellows infection phytoplasmas were present not only in the phloem but also in some cortex parenchymas cells. These parenchyma cells were situated at some distance from the conducting bundles. The phytoplasmas were observed directly in parenchyma cells cytoplasm. The number of phytoplasmas present in each selected cell varies. The cells with a small number of phytoplasmas show little pathological changes compared with the unaffected cells of the same zone of the stem as well with the cells of healthy plants. The cells filled with a number of phytoplasmas had their protoplast very much changed. The vacuole was reduced and in the cytoplasm a reduction of the number of ribosomes was noted and regions of homogenous structure appeared. Mitochondria were moved in the direction of the tonoplast and plasma membrane. Compared to the cells unaffected by phytoplasma, the mitochondria were smaller and had an enlarged cristae internal space. The chloroplasts from affected cells had a very significant reduction in size and the tylacoids system had disappeared. The role of these changes for creating phytoplasma friendly enviroment is discused.


phytoplasma; aster yellows; parenchyma ultrastructure

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