Graduate Research Assistant
University Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2P5
DNA isolated from symptomatic canola (Brassica napus, Brassica rapa) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was used to amplify 16S ribosomal DNA fragments by polymerase chain reaction using two pairs of universal primers P1/P6 and R16F2n/R2. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the amplified DNA fragments using endonucleases AluI, HhaI, HpaII, MseI, RsaI, and Sau 3AI revealed two distinct types of phytoplasmas in canola with similar symptoms. One had the same RFLP profiles as the phytoplasmas in subgroup 16SrI-A, whereas the other one had RFLP profiles similar to those of phytoplasmas in subgroup 16SrI-B. Phytoplasmas were detected in symptomatic dandelion plants that were collected from canola and alfalfa fields where severe alfalfa witches'-broom occurred. Comparative studies indicated that two different phytoplasmas were associated with the dandelion plants. One was identified as a member of subgroup 16SrI-A, whereas another one was classified as a member of a distinct subgroup in the aster yellows group on the basis of the unique RFLP patterns.