Molecular characterization of phytoplasma associated with four important ornamental plant species in India and identification of natural potential spread sources.
ABSTRACT: Phytoplasma suspected symptoms of phyllody, witches' broom, leaf yellowing, stunting and little leaf were observed in Chrysanthemum morifolium, Bougainvillea glabra, Jasminum sambac and Callistephus chinensis during survey of flower nurseries and experimental ornamental fields at Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka from 2014 to 2016. Pleomorphic bodies typical to phytoplasma structures were observed in the phloem sieve elements of ultrathin sections of all the four symptomatic ornamental plants (stem tissue) in transmission electron microscope. Amplification of 1.8 and 1.2 kb phytoplasma DNA products was observed in all the four test plants in PCR assays using universal primer pairs P1/P7 followed by nested primer pair R16F2n/R16R2, respectively. Pairwise sequence comparison, phylogeny and virtual RFLP analysis of 16S rDNA sequences confirmed the association of two phytoplasma subgroups (16SrI-B and 16SrII-D) in four ornamental plant species. 'Ca. P. aurantifolia' subgroup D (16SrII-D) was found associated with chrysanthemum phyllody and leaf yellowing at Delhi and Tamil Nadu, bougainvillea little leaf and yellowing at Delhi and Chinese aster phyllody at Bengaluru, Karnataka. However, jasmine little leaf and yellowing at Bengaluru, Karnataka and chrysanthemum stunting at Pune were found to be associated with 'Ca. P. asteris' subgroup B-related strains (16SrI-B). The identification of 16SrII-D subgroup phytoplasma infecting bougainvillea and 16SrI-B subgroup infecting jasmine are the new reports to the world. Besides weed species, Cannabis sativa showing witches' broom in jasmine fields at Bengaluru and Parthenium hysterophorus showing witches' broom symptoms in chrysanthemum fields at Delhi were identified to be caused by phytoplasma strains classified under subgroups 16SrI-B and 16SrII-D, respectively, by PCR assays and 16Sr DNA sequence comparison analysis. Among the three major leafhopper species identified, only Hishimonas phycitis was identified positive for 16SrI-B and 16SrII-D subgroups of phytoplasmas from chrysanthemum fields at Delhi and jasmine fields at Bengaluru, respectively. The identity of similar phytoplasma strains infecting ornamental species in leafhopper and the weed species in the present study suggested that H. phycitis and weeds may act as potential natural sources for secondary spread of the identified phytoplasma strains.
Project description:Symptoms typical of phytoplasma infection such as phyllody, virescence, witches' broom and yellowing were observed in 12 varieties of <i>Chrysanthemum morifolium</i> in floral nurseries and experimental fields at New Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, India, during surveys made from 2015 to 2017. Disease incidence ranged from 15 to 30%. Phytoplasma presence was confirmed in all symptomatic chrysanthemum varieties by molecular identification assays. Sequence comparison, phylogenetic and in silico RFLP analyses of 16S rDNA sequences allowed the identification of the chrysanthemum infecting phytoplasma strains into different ribosomal groups and subgroups, namely 16SrI, 16SrII-D, 16SrVI-D and 16SrXIV. Detection of phytoplasma strains of 16SrII-D subgroup were also confirmed in symptomatic <i>Chenopodium album</i> and <i>Parthenium hysterophorus</i> plants grown in and around the surveyed chrysanthemum fields at New Delhi, whereas 16SrVI-D phytoplasma strains were detected in symptomatic <i>Cannabis sativa</i> weed and leafhopper <i>Hishimonus phycitis</i> individuals collected from the symptomatic chrysanthemum fields at New Delhi. This is the first report on the presence of 16SrVI and 16SrXIV groups of phytoplasmas in chrysanthemum plants. Studies on genetic diversity of phytoplasmas infecting the major chrysanthemum varieties in India and their epidemiological aspects had previously not been reported. The detection and identification of phytoplasmas in different chrysanthemum varieties could contribute to increase the awareness among farmers in the management of these diseases.
Project description:An investigation was carried out to identify and characterize the phytoplasma and viruses associated with the chickpea varieties showing severe stunting, leaf reddening, yellowing and phyllody symptoms during the summer season of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 in eight states of India. The average disease incidence was recorded from 3 to 32% in different states. The presence of chickpea chlorotic dwarf virus (CpCDV) was confirmed in thirty-seven chickpea samples by amplification of CpCDV coat protein gene and sequence comparison analysis. No record of association of luteovirus, polerovirus and cucumovirus could be detected in any of the symptomatic chickpea samples by RT-PCR assay. <i>Brassica nigra</i>, <i>B. juncea, Lens culinaris</i>, two weeds (<i>Heteropogan contartus, Aeschynomene virginica</i>) and one leafhopper (<i>Amarasca biguttula</i>) were identified as new putative hosts for CpCDV. Association of peanut witches' broom phytoplasma was confirmed in twenty-eight chickpea samples, <i>Sesamum indicum</i>, five weeds hosts and two leafhopper species (<i>Exitianus indicus, Empoasca motti</i>) using nested PCR assays with primer pairs P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16Rn. The results of phytoplasma association in plants and leafhopper samples were further validated by using five multilocus genes (<i>sec</i>A, <i>rp, imp, tuf</i> and <i>sec</i>Y) specific primers. Sequence comparison, phylogenetic and virtual RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA gene and five multilocus genes confirmed the identity of association of 16SrII-C and 16SrII-D subgroups of phytoplasmas strain with chickpea samples collected from Andhra Pradesh (AP), Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi. Mixed infection of phytoplasma (16SrII-D) and CpCDV was also detected in symptomatic chickpea samples from AP and Telangana. The reports of association of 16SrII-C subgroup phytoplasma in chickpea and 16SrII-D subgroup phytoplasma in <i>C. sparsiflora</i> and <i>C. roseus</i> are the new host records in world and from India, respectively.
Project description:Symptoms of stunting (shortening of internodes), twisting and flat stem (the fasciation of a stem), discoloration of petals, deformed flowers, and witches' broom were recorded on an ornamental plant, plumed cockscomb (Celosia argentea L., fam: Amaranthaceae). The survey conducted at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) campus, New Delhi and Karnal region, Haryana, India, during September 2014 to March 2015 revealed disease incidence of 40 and 10%, respectively. The 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison and phylogenetic relationships of Celosia phytoplasma strains under study confirmed that they were associated with two different phytoplasma groups ('Candidatus Phytoplasma australasia' and 'Ca. P. asteris'). Virtual RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences allowed further classification of the Celosia phytoplasma strains into the 16SrI-B and 16SrII-D subgroups. Notably, the detection of 'Ca. P. asteris' phytoplasma was reported in seeds of C. argentea by nested PCR assays; however, no evidence of phytoplasma presence was detected in seedlings raised from these seeds. This observation is the first record of the association of 16SrI-B and 16SrII-D subgroups of phytoplasmas with flat stem and witches' broom disease of C. argentea anywhere from the world.
Project description:Rose balsam (<i>Impatiens balsamina</i>) is an important ornamental species grown worldwide for its attractive flowers and also having medicinal properties. Flat stem, little leaf, and phyllody symptoms were observed in <i>I. balsamina</i> nurseries in Uttar Pradesh and Tripura states of India during surveys from 2018 to 2020, with an incidence from 6 to 27%. Amplicons of ~ 1.2 kb were amplified in all the tested symptomatic samples of <i>I. balsamina</i> using universal phytoplasma primer pairs from different surveyed locations, but not from the asymptomatic plants. Pairwise sequence comparison, phylogeny, and virtual RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences identified the phytoplasmas as 16SrI-B subgroup strain from Tripura (Lembucherra) and 16SrII-D subgroup strain from Uttar Pradesh (Gorakhpur and Faizabad). Phytoplasma presence and identity was further confirmed by amplifying <i>secA</i>, <i>rp</i>, <i>secY,</i> and <i>tuf</i> genes. This is the first report of 16SrI-B and 16SrII-D phytoplasmas detection in <i>I. balsamina</i> in the world.<h4>Supplementary information</h4>The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-021-02666-2.
Project description:During a survey performed in sapota orchards of India, from 2015 to 2018, symptoms of phyllody, little leaf, flat stem and witches' broom were observed in three states: Karnataka, Kerala and Tripura. The association of phytoplasmas was confirmed in all the symptomatic sapota samples by using nested PCR specific primers (P1/P7, R16F2n/R16R2 and 3Far/3Rev) with amplification of fragments of ~ 1.25 kb and ~ 1.3 kb. Association of three phytoplasma groups, aster yellows with flat stem from Tripura (Lembucherra), clover proliferation with phyllody symptoms at Karnataka (Bengaluru) and bermuda grass white leaf with flat stem and little leaf from Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram) and Tripura (Cocotilla) were confirmed by <i>16S rRNA</i> gene sequence comparison analysis. Virtual RFLP analysis of <i>16S rRNA</i> gene sequences using pDRAW32 further classified the sapota phytoplasma isolates into 16SrI-B, 16SrVI-D and 16SrXIV-A subgroups. This is the first report on identification of three phytoplasma groups in sapota in world.
Project description:Suspected phytoplasma symptoms of little leaf, yellowing, chlorosis, phyllody, witches' broom, and stunting were observed on ten different ornamental plant species at New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Bengaluru, and Pune, India, during March to July 2016. To investigate the possibility of phytoplasma etiology, PCR assays were performed using universal primer pairs (P1/P7 followed by 3Far/3Rev) specific to the phytoplasma 16Sr RNA gene. First round PCR amplification with primer pair P1/P7 did not yield expected 1.8 kb product of 16S rRNA region from any of the 17 symptomatic samples. However, 1.3 Kb amplicons were observed in nested PCR assays with 3Far/3Rev primer pair in symptomatic leaf samples of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (Pune isolate), Saponaria officinalis L. (Pune isolate), and Allamanda cathartica L. (Delhi isolate). No amplifications were observed in any of the other tested symptomatic and non-symptomatic plant samples either in first round or second round of nested PCR assays with phytoplasma specific primer pairs. Pairwise sequence comparison of 16S rDNA sequences of the five positive phytoplasma strains of A. catharica, H. rosa-sinensis, and S. officinalis in the present study revealed 99-100% sequence identities with strains of 'clover proliferation' (16SrVI) group. Phylogenetic and virtual RFLP analysis of 16S rDNA sequences of the five identified phytoplasma strains belonging to three ornamental species further confirmed their clustering and grouping with member strains of 'clover proliferation' subgroup D. This is the first record of the phytoplasma association of 'clover proliferation' subgroup D with H. rosa-sinensis, S. officinalis, and A. cathartica in the world.
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:Phyllody, a destructive and economically important disease worldwide caused by phytoplasma infections, is characterized by the abnormal development of floral structures into stunted leafy parts and contributes to serious losses in crop plants, including sesame (Sesamum indicum L.). Accurate identification, differentiation, and quantification of phyllody-causing phytoplasmas are essential for effective management of this plant disease and for selection of resistant sesame varieties. In this study, a diagnostic multiplex qPCR assay was developed using TaqMan® chemistry based on detection of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of phytoplasmas and the 18S ribosomal gene of sesame. Phytoplasma and sesame specific primers and probes labeled with different fluorescent dyes were used for simultaneous amplification of 16SrII and 16SrIX phytoplasmas in a single tube. The multiplex real-time qPCR assay allowed accurate detection, differentiation, and quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX groups in 109 sesame plant and 92 insect vector samples tested. The assay was found to have a detection sensitivity of 1.8 x 10(2) and 1.6 x 10(2) DNA copies for absolute quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX group phytoplasmas, respectively. Relative quantification was effective and reliable for determination of phyllody phytoplasma DNA amounts normalized to sesame DNA in infected plant tissues. The development of this qPCR assay provides a method for the rapid measurement of infection loads to identify resistance levels of sesame genotypes against phyllody phytoplasma disease.
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: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.