Identification of sugarcane grassy shoot-associated phytoplasma and one of its putative vectors in India
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During a survey of sugarcane fields at the Sugarcane Research Institute, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, in August–September 2012, 6% to 28% incidence of sugarcane grassy shoot disease was observed in different fields of sugarcane variety CoS 7250. The association of phytoplasma with symptomatic sugarcane was confirmed by direct and nested PCR amplification of phytoplasma ribosomal gene. Four different delphacid leafhopper species, viz. Cofana unimaculata Signoret, Exitianus indicus (Distant), Sogatella kolophon Kirkaldy and Hishimonus phycitis (Dist.) were the prevalent feeding species of the Auchenorrhyncha fauna in the symptomatic sugarcane fields. Out of these four leafhopper species, only E. indicus tested positive for phytoplasma presence. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the phytoplasmas from sugarcane and E. indicus in the present study were members of 16Sr XI. The confirmation of association of sugarcane grassy shoot phytoplasma in E. indicus population is important to understand the secondary spread of this phytoplasma in sugarcane plants.
KeywordsExitianus indicus Leafhopper Molecular detection Sugarcane grassy shoot disease
The authors are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India, for providing financial assistance during the course of the study. The authors wish to express sincere thanks to the Head, Division of Plant Pathology, and the Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, for partial funding and the facilities for analysis of sequence data. The authors also wish to thank Dr. C.A. Viraktamath, Principal Investigator, Network Project on Insect Biosystematics, Department of Entomology, GKVK, Bangalore, India, for identifying the taxonomy of leafhopper species. The help rendered by Director, UP Council of Sugarcane Research Shahjahanpur for providing facilities to survey the experimental sugarcane fields work at Shahjahanpur is sincerely acknowledged.
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