A confocal laser scanning micrograph of a paraffin section in the head and thorax of leafhopper vector D. maidis, showing corn stunt spiroplasma (CSS, Spiroplasma kunkelii, Class Mollicutes) aggregates (green fluorescence) in muscle fibers (mf), salivary glands (sg) and fat tissue (ft), close to the subesophageal ganglion (seg) and compound ganglion (cgm). Whole-mount organs were labeled with primary CSS antibodies then with secondary antibodies (Alexa Fluor-488, green), and stained with the nuclear stain propidium iodide (red). CSS is a wall-less procaryote that causes corn stunt disease and is biologically transmitted by some leafhopper species, e.g. Dalbulus maidis and D. gelbus (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae). Spiroplasma cells are limited by a unit membrane with no cell wall. They can be quasi-spherical, pleiomorphic or maintain a filamentous/spiral form. CSS multiplies in both plant and insect hosts and is transmitted with salivary secretions during feeding of the vector on new host plants. For additional information refer to Ammar and Hougenhout(2005) Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 98(6): 820Ð826.
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