Nutritional deficiency in citrus with symptoms of citrus variegated chlorosis disease
It is well known that citrus plants that have been infected by Xylella fastidiosa display nutritional deficiencies, probably caused by production of extracellular polymers by the bacteria that block normal nutrient flow through the xylem. The aim of this work was to study the mineral composition of specific foliar areas in different stages of infection in citrus. Thus, the concentrations of macro and micronutrients in leaves of citrus infected by X. fastidiosa were measured. Samples from four infected citrus orchards in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, were respectively collected from Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, Neves Paulista, Gaviao Peixoto and Paraiso counties. The presence of X. fastidiosa in leaves was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using specific PCR primers. To understand the variation in leaf-nutrient content in citrus plants, we used foliar nutrient values from control (non-symptomatic) plants as a reference. Chemometric analysis showed that the deficiency of P and K in symptomatic trees for all orchards and high concentrations of Fe, Mn and Zn were observed in chlorotic areas, although other studies revealed deficiency of zinc in leaves. This is the first report showing that a correlation between chlorotic citrus leaf and higher concentrations of Fe, Mn and Zn are observed when infected and healthy plants were compared.