Mexican periwinkle virescence phytoplasma associated with phyllody and virescence in strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) in Michoacan, Mexico


The strawberry phyllody is considered a reversion of floral reproductive organs, such as achenes in vegetative structures, which can be infectious and non-infectious. The objective of this research was to determine the regional distribution and incidence of phyllody in two strawberry growing areas in Michoacan, Mexico and to determine whether these symptoms are associated with the presence of phytoplasmas. The study comprised 51 strawberry plots distributed in the municipalities of Zamora, Jacona, Tangancícuaro, Chilchota and Maravatío, during the production season, 2014–2015. Phyllody incidence was estimated in 40 plants per plot (five sampling points, eight plants each) distributed approximately equidistant in a zig-zag scheme. Twenty-eight of these samples were used to run a nested PCR protocol for phytoplasma detection; primers P1/P7 were used to amplify a fragment of approximately 1800 bp, and primers P1A/ 16S SR were used to amplify a fragment of approximately 1500 bp, in the first and second reactions, respectively. The strawberry phyllody was found widely distributed with incidence levels up to 35 %. These symptoms were associated with the presence of Mexican Periwinkle Virescence Phytoplasma (MPV). This report is the first to describe this phytoplasma in strawberry in Mexico in the municipalities of Zamora, Jacona, Tangancícuaro, Chilchota and Maravatio in the state of Michoacan. The results will be used to design strategies for managing the disease in commercial nurseries and commercial plantings of strawberry.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Bertaccini, A., & Duduk, B. (2009). Phytoplasma and phytoplasma diseases: a review of recent research. Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 48, 355–378.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Bertaccini, A., Vibio, M., Pastore, M., Recupero, S., Guerrini, S., & Grimaldi, D. (1997). Nested-PCR assays for detection of phytoplasmas in strawberry. Acta Horticulturae, 439, 787–790.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Davis, R. E., & Dally, E. L. (2001). Revised subgroup classification of group 16SrV phytoplasmas and placement of flavescence dorée-associated phytoplasmas in two distinct subgroups. Plant Disease, 85, 790–797.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Deng, S., & Hiruki, C. (1991). Amplification of 16S rRNA genes from culturable and nonculturable Mollicutes. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 14, 53–61.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Doyle, J. J., & Doyle, J. L. (1990). Isolation of plant DNA from fresh tissue. Focus, 12, 13–15.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Duduk, B., & Bertaccini, A. (2011). Phytoplasma classification: taxonomy based on 16S ribosomal gene, is it enough? Phytopathogenic Mollicutes, 1, 3–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fernández, F. D., Meneguzzi, N. G., Guzmán, F. A., Kirschbaum, D. S., Conci, V. C., Nome, C. F., & Conci, L. R. (2015). Detection and identification of a novel 16SrXIII subgroup phytoplasma associated with strawberry red leaf disease in Argentina. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 65, 2741–2747.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Hall, T. A. (1999). BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for windows 95/98/NT. Nucleic Acids Symposium Series, 41, 95–98.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Jomantiene, R., Maas, J. L., Dally, E. L., & y Davis, R. E. (2002). Phytoplasmas in strawberry with fruit phyllody. Acta Horticulturae, 567, 635–638.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Lee, I. M., Gundersen-Rindal, D. E., Davis, R. E., & Bartoszyk, I. M. (1998). Revised classification scheme of phytoplasmas based on RFLP analyses of 16 s rRNA and ribosomal protein gene sequences. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 48, 1153–1169.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Lee, I. M., Martini, M., Marcone, C., & Zhu, S. F. (2004). Classification of phytoplasma strains in the elm yellows group (16SrV) and proposal of ‘Candidatus phytoplasma ulmi’ for the phytoplasma associated with elm yellows. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 54, 337–347.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Lieten, P. (2006). Effect of metosulam and glyphosate on flower abnormalities of strawberries. Acta Horticulturae, 708, 401–404.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Peres, N. A., Duval, J. R., & y Seijo, T. E. (2005). Determination of the cause of phylloid strawberry fruit in annual strawberry production in Central Florida. Proceedings Florida State Horticultural Society, 118, 115–118.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Schneider, B., Marcone, C., Kampmann, M., Ragozzino, A., Lederer, W., Cousin, M. T., & Seemüller, E. (1997). Characterization and classification of phytoplasmas from wild and cultivated plants by RFLP and sequence analysis of ribosomal DNA. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 103, 675–686.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Tamura, K., Peterson, D., Peterson, N., Stecher, G., Nei, M., & Kumar, S. (2011). MEGA6: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis using maximum likelihood, evolutionary distance, and maximum parsimony methods. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 28, 2731–2739.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  16. Ullio, L. (1997). Strawberry phyllody on cold-stored (frigo) plants in the Sydney region, Australia. Acta Horticulturae, 439, 781–786.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Valiunas, D., Staniulis, J., & Davis, R. E. (2006). ‘Candidatus phytoplasma fragariae’, a novel phytoplasma taxón discovered in yellows diseased strawberry, Fragaria x ananassa. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 56, 27–281.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Angel Rebollar-Alviter.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Avendaño-Benequen, M., Silva-Rojas, H.V., Marbán-Mendoza, N. et al. Mexican periwinkle virescence phytoplasma associated with phyllody and virescence in strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) in Michoacan, Mexico. Eur J Plant Pathol 147, 451–454 (2017).

Download citation


  • Phytoplasmas
  • Mexican periwinkle virescence