Identification of grass white leaf disease associated with a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-related phytoplasma strain (16SrI-B and cpn60 I-IIIB) in Mexico
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Samples of a wild grass showing white leaf symptoms were collected in 2015 in Veracruz, Mexico around sugarcane plantations. DNA amplification, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-related strain in the plants that were positive using 16S-based and cpn60 PCR assays. The strain determined to be associated with the grass white leaf disease was identified as a member of the 16SrI-B subgroup and a member of the cpn60 I-IIIB subgroup through in silico RFLP analysis. This is the first report of phytoplasma-infected grass plants associated with white leaf disease in Mexico. The implications of these findings are vital for the management of other plant hosts of the family Poaceae such as sugarcane and corn, and point to weedy grasses as a potential source of phytoplasma inoculum for nearby crop plants.
Keywords16SrI-B ‘Candidatus phytoplasma asteris’ cpn60 UT Grass white leaf disease
This work was supported by the Genomic Research and Development Initiative for the shared priority project on quarantine and invasive species. EPL thanks Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Saskatoon Research Centre and the government of Canada for the time in TJD Lab.
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