Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 117-127

Relative quantification of chrysanthemum yellows (16Sr I) phytoplasma in its plant and insect host using real-time polymerase chain reaction

  • Cristina MarzachíAffiliated withCNR, Istituto di Virologia Vegetale Email author 
  • , Domenico BoscoAffiliated withDi, Va.P.R.A., Entomologia e Zoologia applicate all’ Ambiente, Universitá degli Studi di Torino

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A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for the quantification of chrysanthemum yellows (CY) phytoplasma DNA in its plant (Chrysanthemum carinatum) and insect (Macrosteles quadripunctulatus) host is described. The quantity of CY DNA was measured in each run relative to the amount of host DNA in the sample. Primers and a TaqMan probe for the specific PCR amplification of phytoplasma DNA were designed on a cloned CY-specific ribosomal fragment. Primers and TaqMan probes were also designed on sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region of the insect’s ITS1 rDNA and of the plant’s 18S rDNA for amplification from C. carinatum and M. quadripunculatus, respectively.

Absolute quantification of CY DNA was achieved by comparison with a dilution series of the plasmid containing a CY 16S rDNA target sequence. Absolute quantification of plant and insect DNAs was achieved by comparison with a dilution series of the corresponding DNAs. Quantification of CY DNA in relation to host DNA was finally expressed as genome units (GU) of phytoplasma DNA per nanogram of host (plant or insect) DNA. Relative quantification avoided influences due to different yields during the DNA extraction procedure. The quantity of CY DNA was about 10,000–20,000 GU/ng of plant DNA and about 30,000–50,000 GU/ng of insect DNA. The method described could be used to phytoplasma multiplication and movement in different plant and insect hosts.

Index Entries

Chrysanthemum yellows phytoplasma Chrysanthemum carinatum Macrosteles quadripunctulatus quantitative real-time PCR quantification