, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 279–286 | Cite as

Detection and molecular characterization of phytoplasma associated with chickpea phyllody disease in south India

  • M. S. Pallavi
  • H. K. Ramappa
  • K. S. ShankarappaEmail author
  • K. T. RangaswamyEmail author
  • W. A. R. T. Wickramaarachchi
  • M. N. Maruthi


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) plants showing typical symptoms of infection by a phytoplasma that causes phyllody disease have been commonly observed in recent years in parts of south India. The symptoms included pale green leaves, bushy appearance due to excessive stunting of shoots, reduced internodal length and excessive axillary proliferation. The causal agent of the phyllody disease was identified based on symptoms, amplification of 16S rDNA of the phytoplasma by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from infected samples, as well as by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. First round PCR and nested-PCR protocols were standardized for improved efficiency and reliability of the diagnostic protocols. Using the primers P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2, 1,800 bp and 1,200 bp size products were amplified in first round PCR and nested-PCR protocols, respectively. The PCR product was cloned and sequenced and compared with the reference phytoplasma sequences from the database (NCBI). The Indian chickpea phyllody phytoplasma 16S rDNA sequences shared the highest nucleotide identity (>98%) with the 16S rII group phytoplasma candidates, also infecting chickpea from Australia and Pakistan. This is the first report of a phytoplasma of the 16SrII-group infecting chickpea from India. The genetic similarities and the potential threat of this new disease to chickpea cultivation in India are discussed.


Cicer arietinum Nested-PCR Polymerase chain reaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Pallavi
    • 1
  • H. K. Ramappa
    • 2
  • K. S. Shankarappa
    • 3
    Email author
  • K. T. Rangaswamy
    • 1
    Email author
  • W. A. R. T. Wickramaarachchi
    • 1
  • M. N. Maruthi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of Agricultural Sciences, GKVKBengaluruIndia
  2. 2.AICRP on Pigeonpea, Zonal Agricultural Research StationUniversity of Agricultural SciencesBengaluruIndia
  3. 3.Department of Horticultural Plant Pathology, K.R.C. College of Horticulture, Arabhavi-591 310University of Horticultural SciencesBagalkotIndia
  4. 4.Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of GreenwichKentUK

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