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Partial characterization of phytoplasmas associated with lettuce and wild lettuce phyllodies in Iran

Salehi, M., Izadpanah, K., Nejat, N., Siampour, M.
Plant pathology 2007 v.56 no.4 pp. 669-676
Carthamus tinctorius, Cicadellidae, DNA, Helianthus annuus, Pigeon pea witches'-broom phytoplasma, buds, host range, lettuce, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, ribosomal RNA, witches' broom, Iran
Phytoplasmas associated with lettuce phyllody (LP) and wild lettuce phyllody (WLP) in southern Iran were partially characterized by molecular analyses and host-range studies. Agents of both diseases were transmitted by Neoaliturus fenestratus, a leafhopper colonizing lettuce and wild lettuce, to lettuce, wild lettuce, sowthistle and periwinkle, but not to safflower, sunflower, calendula and sesame. Both phytoplasmas induced bud proliferation, virescence, phyllody and witches' broom in infected plants. Total DNA extracted from infected lettuce and wild lettuce or from vector tissues was subjected to PCR using phytoplasma-specific primer pair P1/P7 or nested PCR using P1/P7 followed by R16F2n/R16R2. PCR product of nested PCR (1·2 kbp) was subjected to restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). RFLP analysis of nested PCR product identified the LP, WLP and N. fenestratus-associated phytoplasmas as members of the pigeon pea witches' broom group, 16SrIX. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence also clustered LP and WLP phytoplasmas with other known members of the 16SrIX group. While no significant differences could be detected between LP and WLP phytoplasmas, both isolates differed from Lebanese wild lettuce phyllody in molecular properties.