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First Report of Phytoplasma (16SrI) Associated with Yellow Decline Disease of Royal Palms [Roystonea regia (Kunth) O. F. Cook] in Malaysia

Naderali, Neda, Vadamalai, Ganesan, Nejat, Naghmeh, Ling, Kong L.
Phytopathologische Zeitschrift 2015 v.163 no.2 pp. 133-137
Aster yellows phytoplasma, Roystonea regia, chlorosis, decline, fronds, growth retardation, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, ribosomal RNA, Malaysia
Royal Palms (Roystonea regia) with symptoms such as severe chlorosis, stunting, collapse of older fronds and general decline were observed in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with phytoplasma universal primer pair P1/P7 followed by R16F2N/R16R2 and fU5/rU3 as nested PCR primer pairs, all symptomatic plants tested positively for phytoplasma. Results of phylogenetic and virtual RFLP analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the phytoplasma associated with Royal Palm yellow decline (RYD) was an isolate of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ belonging to a new 16SrI‐subgroup. These results show that Roystonea regia is a new host for the aster yellows phytoplasma (16SrI). This is the first report on the presence of 16SrI phytoplasma on Royal Palm trees in Malaysia.