Important genetic diversity of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ related strains associated with bois noir grapevine yellows and planthoppers in Azerbaijan
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Bois noir (BN) is an important grapevine yellows endemic to the Euro-Mediterranean basin caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’ (‘Ca. P. solani’), a non culturable plant pathogenic Mollicute. Bois noir symptoms could be associated with ‘Ca. P. solani’ in two Azerbaijanian vineyards where disease incidence and severity were recorded for five local Vitis vinifera cultivars. In order to gain insight into the epidemiology of Bois noir in Azerbaijan, ‘Ca. P. solani’ isolates infecting plants were characterized by multi-locus sequence analysis and their secY and stamp gene sequences compared to that of the strains detected in other plants and in local Cixiidae planthoppers. Genotypes were determined for two non-ribosomal house-keeping genes, namely tuf and secY, as well as two variable markers namely Stamp and mleP1 genes, that respectively encode the antigenic membrane protein AMP and a 2-Hydroxycarboxylate transporter. The Azerbaijanian BN phytoplasma isolates corresponded to three tufB and secY genotypes. A finer differentiation of Azerbaijanian ‘Ca. P. solani’ isolates was obtained with mleP1 as five different mleP1 genetic variants were found. Finally, Stamp gene allowed differentiating four new genotypes in grapevine among the 10 new Stamp genotypes detected in various plants in Azerbaijan. The preliminary survey for infected insects conducted in northern Azerbaijan, led to the identification of Hyalesthes obsoletus and Reptalus noahi as potential vectors for two ‘Ca. P. solani’ new genotypes phylogenetically distant from the known genetic clusters. Altogether these results indicate an important genetic diversity of BN phytoplasmas in Azerbaijan that certainly result from spread through local insect vectors.
KeywordsPlant pathogen Vitis vinifera Cixiidae MLSA Tuf secY mleP1 Stamp
All authors have been personally and actively involved in substantive work leading to the manuscript. Conceived and designed the experiments: GB, XF, IH; Performed the survey: GB, AM, EV, JB, XF. Identified insects: J-LD; Performed the molecular experiments: GB, JB, AM, PS, IE; Analyzed the data: GB, IH, XF; Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: IH, XF. Wrote the paper: GB, XF.
This study was funded by Science Development Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan Republic, Grant № EIF-2013-9(15)-46/28/3) and the INRA meta-programme Sustainable Management of Crop Health SMACH LYCOVITIS.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and animal rights
This research does not include any animal and/or human trials.
All sequences have been deposited in the European Nucleotide Archive under the study accession number PRJEB21652.
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