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Poster: Diseases of Plants: Disease Detection & Diagnosis


The phytoplasma associated with purple woodnettle witches’-broom disease in Taiwan represents a new subgroup of the aster yellows phytoplasma group
F. JAN (1), Y. Tseng (1), C. Chang (2) (1) Department of Plant Pathology/ National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan; (2) Department of Plant Pathology/ University of Georgia, Taiwan

In October 2013, a new disease affecting purple woodnettle (Oreocnide pedunculata) plants was found in Miaoli County, Taiwan. Diseased plants exhibited leaf yellowing and witches'-broom symptoms. Molecular diagnostic tools and electron microscopic cell observation were used to investigate the possible cause of the disease with a specific focus on phytoplasmas. The result of PCR with universal primer pairs indicated that phytoplasmas were strongly associated with the symptomatic purple woodnettles. The virtual restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns and phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA and ribosomal protein, rplV-rpsC region revealed that purple woodnettle witches’-broom phytoplasma (PWWB) belongs to a new subgroup of 16SrI and rpI group and was designated as 16SrI-AH and rpI-Q, respectively, herein. RFLP analysis based on tuf gene region revealed that the PWWB belongs to tufI-B, but phylogenetic analysis suggested that PWWB should be delineated to a new subgroup under the tufI group. Taken together, our analyses based on 16S rRNA and rplV-rpsC region gave a finer differentiation while classifying the subgroup of aster yellows group phytoplasmas. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris-related strain in 16SrI-AH, rpI-Q and tufI-B subgroup affecting purple woodnettle, and of an official documentation of purple woodnettle as being a new host of phytoplasmas.