Phytoplasma-specific PCR primers based on sequences of the 16S-23S rRNA spacer region.
ABSTRACT: In order to develop a diagnostic tool to identify phytoplasmas and classify them according to their phylogenetic group, we took advantage of the sequence diversity of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer regions (SRs) of phytoplasmas. Ten PCR primers were developed from the SR sequences and were shown to amplify in a group-specific fashion. For some groups of phytoplasmas, such as elm yellows, ash yellows, and pear decline, the SR primer was paired with a specific primer from within the 16S rRNA gene. Each of these primer pairs was specific for a specific phytoplasma group, and they did not produce PCR products of the correct size from any other phytoplasma group. One primer was designed to anneal within the conserved tRNA(Ile) and, when paired with a universal primer, amplified all phytoplasmas tested. None of the primers produced PCR amplification products of the correct size from healthy plant DNA. These primers can serve as effective tools for identifying particular phytoplasmas in field samples.
Project description:In January 2012, spreading type petunia cv. Wave Pink plants showing an abnormal growth habit of sprouting unusual multiple plantlets from the lateral buds were collected from a greenhouse in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Korea. The presence of phytoplasma was investigated using PCR with the primer pairs P1/P6, and R16F1/R1 for nested-PCR. In the nested PCR, 1,096 bp PCR products were obtained, and through sequencing 12 Pet-Stol isolates were identified. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA gene of the 12 Pet-Stol isolates with other phytoplasmas belonging to aster yellows or Stolbur showed that Pet-Stol isolates were members of Stolbur. The presence of phytoplasma in petunia was also confirmed by microscopic observation of the pathogens. In this study, Stolbur phytoplasma was identified from spreading type petunia cultivars by sequence analysis of 16S rRNA gene of phytoplasma and microscopic observation of phytoplasma bodies. This is the first report of Stolbur phytoplasma in commercial Petunia hybrida cultivars.
Project description:Phormium yellow leaf (PYL) phytoplasma causes a lethal disease of the monocotyledon, New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax). The 16S rRNA genes of PYL phytoplasma were amplified from infected flax by PCR and cloned, and the nucleotide sequences were determined. DNA sequencing and Southern hybridization analysis of genomic DNA indicated the presence of two copies of the 16S rRNA gene. The two 16S rRNA genes exhibited sequence heterogeneity in 4 nucleotide positions and could be distinguished by the restriction enzymes BpmI and BsrI. This is the first record in which sequence heterogeneity in the 16S rRNA genes of a phytoplasma has been determined by sequence analysis. A phylogenetic tree based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that PYL phytoplasma is most closely related to the stolbur and German grapevine yellows phytoplasmas, which form the stolbur subgroup of the aster yellows group. This phylogenetic position of PYL phytoplasma was supported by 16S/23S spacer region sequence data.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Crotalaria aegyptiaca, a low shrub is commonly observed in the sandy soils of wadis desert and is found throughout all regions in Oman. A survey for phytoplasma diseases was conducted. During a survey in a wild area in the northern regions of Oman in 2015, typical symptoms of phytoplasma infection were observed on C. aegyptiaca plants. The infected plants showed an excessive proliferation of their shoots and small leaves. RESULTS:The presence of phytoplasma in the phloem tissue of symptomatic C. aegyptiaca leaf samples was confirmed by using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). In addition the extracted DNA from symptomatic C. aegyptiaca leaf samples and Orosius sp. leafhoppers were tested by PCR using phytoplasma specific primers for the 16S rDNA, secA, tuf and imp, and SAP11 genes. The PCR amplifications from all samples yielded the expected products, but not from asymptomatic plant samples. Sequence similarity and phylogenetic tree analyses of four genes (16S rDNA, secA, tuf and imp) showed that Crotalaria witches' broom phytoplasmas from Oman is placed with the clade of Peanut WB (16SrII) close to Fava bean phyllody (16SrII-C), Cotton phyllody and phytoplasmas (16SrII-F), and Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia' (16SrII-B). However, the Crotalaria's phytoplasma was in a separate sub-clade from all the other phytoplasmas belonging to Peanut WB group. The combination of specific primers for the SAP11 gene of 16SrII-A, -B, and -D subgroup pytoplasmas were tested against Crotalaria witches' broom phytoplasmas and no PCR product was amplified, which suggests that the SAP11 of Crotalaria phytoplasma is different from the SAP11 of the other phytoplasmas. CONCLUSION:We propose to assign the Crotalaria witches' broom from Oman in a new lineage 16SrII-W subgroup depending on the sequences analysis of 16S rRNA, secA, imp, tuf, and SAP11 genes. To our knowledge, this is the first report of phytoplasmas of the 16SrII group infecting C. aegyptiaca worldwide.
Project description:Brinjal little leaf (BLL) is a widespread disease of phytoplasma etiology in India that induces severe economic losses. Surveys were conducted in eight brinjal-growing states of India during July 2014 to September 2015 and eighteen BLL samples showing little leaf, phyllody and witches' broom symptoms were collected for phytoplasma identification. Presence of phytoplasmas was confirmed in all the eighteen BLL samples using polymerase chain reaction with phytoplasma-specific primer pairs (P1/P6, R16F2n/R16R2). Pair wise sequence comparison and phylogenetic relationship of 16S rRNA gene sequences of BLL phytoplasma strains confirmed that sixteen out of eighteen BLL strains belonged to clover proliferation phytoplasma (16SrVI) group and two BLL strains (GKP-A and GKP-B) from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, were classified under 16SrII group. Further virtual RFLP analysis of 16S rDNA sequences allowed finer classification of BLL strains into 16SrII-D and 16SrVI-D subgroups. BLL phytoplasma strains belonging to 16SrVI-D subgroup were found as the most widespread phytoplasma strains associated with BLL disease in India. 16SrVI-D subgroup phytoplasma association with two symptomatic weed species viz. Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa at Noida, Uttar Pradesh and Portulaca oleracea at IARI fields, New Delhi was also confirmed by nested PCR assays with similar set of phytoplasma-specific primers, pairwise 16S rDNA sequence comparison, phylogeny and virtual RFLP analysis. Out of five identified leafhopper species from BLL-infected fields at Noida, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, only Hishimonas phycitis was identified as carrier and natural vector of 16SrVI-D subgroup of phytoplasmas by nested PCR assays, sequence comparison, phylogeny, virtual RFLP analysis and transmission assays.
Project description:Calendula officinalis plants with phyllody symptoms (CaoP) were observed in Yazd and Ashkezar (Yazd province, Iran) during 2013-2016. Twenty-one symptomatic and four asymptomatic plants were transferred individually to the greenhouse and potted for the biological and molecular characterization of associated phytoplasma. The dodder transmission from symptomatic potted marigold plants, induced virescence, phyllody and witches' broom symptoms in periwinkle. Total DNAs extracted from symptomatic and symptomless plants and dodder-inoculated periwinkles were subjected to nested PCR assay using primer pairs amplifying phytoplasma ribosomal DNA. Expected PCR amplification was detected in all CaoP plant and dodder-inoculated periwinkle samples. RFLP analysis of the amplicons obtained in direct PCR with P1/P7 primers using RsaI, AluI, MseI, HinfI and HaeIII restriction enzymes showed profiles identical to each other and related to phytoplasmas in all the 21 positive samples. R16mF2/R16mR2 amplicons from six CaoP plant samples were sequenced where consensus sequences had 100% of identity among each other. R16F2n/R16R2-trimmed sequences (1248 bp) of representative samples from Yazd and Ashkezar were deposited in GenBank under accession numbers KU297202 and MH065715, respectively. BLAST search and phylogenetic analysis showed that the CaoP phytoplasma had 99% homology and clusters with phytoplasmas in group 16SrII. Computer-simulated analysis using iPhyClassifier suggests that the CaoP RFLP 16S rRNA gene pattern was identical to 16SrII-D phytoplasmas subgroup. Phytoplasma strains (16SrII-D) were reported as alfalfa witches' broom disease agent previously in the same geographic areas, and it is possible that alfalfa plays a role in the epidemiology of CaoP disease or vice-versa.
Project description:To date, phytoplasmas belonging to six ribosomal subgroups have been detected to infect grapevines in Chile in 36 percent of the sampled plants. A new survey on the presence of grapevine yellows was carried out from 2016 to 2020, and 330 grapevine plants from the most important wine regions of the country were sampled and analyzed by nested PCR/RFLP analyses. Phytoplasmas enclosed in subgroups 16SrIII-J and 16SrVII-A were identified with infection rates of 17% and 2%, respectively. The vineyards in which the phytoplasma-infected plants were detected were further inspected to identify alternative host plants and insects of potential epidemiological relevance. Five previously unreported plant species resulted positive for 16SrIII-J phytoplasma (Rosa spp., Brassica rapa, Erodium spp., Malva spp. and Rubus ulmifolius) and five insect species were fully or partially identified (Amplicephalus ornatus, A. pallidus, A. curtulus, Bergallia sp., Exitianus obscurinervis) as potential vectors of 16SrIII-J phytoplasmas. The 16SrVII-A phytoplasmas were not detected in non-grape plant species nor in insects. This work establishes updated guidelines for the study, management, and prevention of grapevine yellows in Chile, and in other grapevine growing regions of South America.
Project description:Primers and probes based on the 23S rRNA gene have been utilized to design a range of real-time PCR assays for routine phytoplasma diagnostics. These assays have been authenticated as phytoplasma specific and shown to be at least as sensitive as nested PCR. A universal assay to detect all phytoplasmas has been developed, along with a multiplex assay to discriminate 16SrI group phytoplasmas from members of all of the other 16Sr groups. Assays for the 16SrII, 16SrIV, and 16SrXII groups have also been developed to confirm that the 23S rRNA gene can be used to design group-specific assays.
Project description:Phytoplasmas are transmitted by insect vectors in a persistent propagative manner; however, detailed movements and multiplication patterns of phytoplasmas within vectors remain elusive. In this study, spatiotemporal dynamics of onion yellows (OY) phytoplasma in its vector Macrosteles striifrons were investigated by immunohistochemistry-based 3D imaging, whole-mount fluorescence staining, and real-time quantitative PCR. The results indicated that OY phytoplasmas entered the anterior midgut epithelium by seven days after acquisition start (daas), then moved to visceral muscles surrounding the midgut and to the hemocoel at 14-21 daas; finally, OY phytoplasmas entered into type III cells of salivary glands at 21-28 daas. The anterior midgut of the alimentary canal and type III cells of salivary glands were identified as the major sites of OY phytoplasma infection. Fluorescence staining further revealed that OY phytoplasmas spread along the actin-based muscle fibers of visceral muscles and accumulated on the surfaces of salivary gland cells. This accumulation would be important for phytoplasma invasion into salivary glands, and thus for successful insect transmission. This study demonstrates the spatiotemporal dynamics of phytoplasmas in insect vectors. The findings from this study will aid in understanding of the underlying mechanism of insect-borne plant pathogen transmission.
Project description:The presence of phytoplasmas and their associated diseases is an emerging threat to vegetable production which leads to severe yield losses worldwide. Phytoplasmas are phloem-limited pleomorphic bacteria lacking the cell wall, mainly transmitted through leafhoppers but also by plant propagation materials and seeds. Phytoplasma diseases of vegetable crops are characterized by symptoms such as little leaves, phyllody, flower virescence, big buds, and witches' brooms. Phytoplasmas enclosed in at least sixteen different ribosomal groups infecting vegetable crops have been reported thus far across the world. The aster yellows phytoplasma group (16SrI) is presently the prevalent, followed by the peanut witches' broom (16SrII). Wide and overlapping crop and non-crop host ranges of phytoplasmas, polyphagous insect vectors, limited availability of resistance sources and unavailability of environmentally safe chemical control measures lead to an arduous effort in the management of these diseases. The most feasible control of vegetable phytoplasma diseases is a consequence of the development and implementation of integrated disease management programs. The availability of molecular tools for phytoplasma identification at the strain level greatly facilitated this kind of approach. It is moreover essential to understand the molecular basis of phytoplasma-vector interaction, epidemiology and other factors involved in disease development in order to reduce the disease outbreaks. Information on the knowledge about the most widespread phytoplasma diseases in vegetable crops is reviewed here in a comprehensive manner.
Project description:North American Grapevine Yellows (NAGY) is a destructive disease of grapevines caused by phytoplasmas, wall-less bacteria that are insect-transmitted and found in plant phloem tissues. Although the disease was recognized in vineyards in the eastern United States since the 1980s, the identities of vectors remain unknown. The objectives of this study were to survey potential phytoplasma vector insects inhabiting Virginia vineyards that expressed NAGY symptoms and to evaluate their ability to transmit phytoplasmas associated with NAGY. Phytoplasmas were identified as 'Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni'-related NAGYIIIβ strains and 'Ca. Phytoplasma asteris'-related NAGYI-B strains. To determine the identities of the potential vectors, artificial feeding solution was used to evaluate the ability of leafhopper species to release phytoplasmas during feeding and phytoplasma strains were identified using molecular tools. Out of 49 insect species screened, Jikradia olitoria was the only insect that released phytoplasmas into the feeding solutions; all phytoplasmas, thus, detected were identified as NAGYIIIβ strains by nucleotide sequencing of three different genomic regions. No NAGYI-B strain was detected. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of a potential insect vector of a specific phytoplasma associated with NAGY disease, and it is the first report of J. olitoria being a putative vector of a plant pathogenic phytoplasma.