Molecular identification of phytoplasmas associated with some weeds in West Azarbaijan province, Iran



During field surveys in 2013 and 2014, about 14 weed plants showing phytoplasma diseases symptoms including yellowing and witches’broom were collected and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using universal primers for 16SrRNA starting by primer pairs P1/P7 in first round PCR followed by primer pair R16F2n/R16R2 in nested PCR. The detected phytoplasmas were characterized and differentiated through sequence analysis of PCR-amplified rDNA and virtual restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). The phytoplasmas detected in symptomatic horseweed (Erigeron canadensis L.), common madder (Rubia tinctorum L.), Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense [L.] Pers.) and Sophora root (Sophora alopecuroides L.) were identified as members of the clover proliferation group (16SrVI group) by construction of phylogenetic trees. Further analysis by virtual RFLP classified the phytoplasmas of Erigeron canadensis L. and Sorghum halepense L. in subgroup 16SrVI-A and phytoplasmas of Rubia tinctorum L. and Sophora alpecuriodes L. in subgroup 16SrVI-D. This is the first report on the occurrence of phytoplasma diseases of weeds in west Azarbaijan, Iran.


common madder, Sophora root, Johnson grass, horseweed, nested-PCR, Urmia

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