M. Catal and
C. Ikten, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Akdeniz University, TR-07058, Antalya, Turkey; and
R. Üstün, and
B. Uzun, Department of Field Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, Akdeniz University, TR-07058, Antalya, Turkey
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is an important oilseed crops widely grown in the southern regions of Turkey. Sesame seeds are primarily used in production of tahini as well as a garnish on sweets and bakery products in the country. Sesame plants with phyllody disease symptoms have increasingly been observed in the fields of Antalya province since 2007. The disease incidence in these fields was found to range from 37 to 62% (2). Infected plants display a variety of the disease symptoms such as virescence, asymptomatic shoot proliferation, infertile flower formation, reduced leaf size, and thin and weak capsule development. Total genomic DNA was extracted from samples collected from symptomatic (10 plants) and asymptomatic healthy-looking plants (10 plants) using a CTAB method and amplified with universal primers P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2 in direct and nested PCR, respectively (1,3). Amplifications of the DNA from the symptomatic plants yielded a product of 1.8 kb in direct and 1.2 kb in nested PCR assays. No amplification was observed in symptomless plants of the same age and collected from the same fields. Amplicons were purified, cloned in a pTZ57R/T Vector, and sequenced using a Beckman Coulter 8000 CEQ Genetic Analysis System. Four aligned 16S rDNA sequences (1,845 bp) were found to be all identical and belonging to one species. One sequence was deposited in GenBank under the accession number KC139791. A BLAST similarity search revealed that the sequence shared 99% homology with the sequences of the members of 16SrIX group phytoplasmas, ‘Brassica rapa’ phyllody phytoplasma (HM559246.1) and Iranian Almond witches'-broom phytoplasma (DQ195209.1) available in GenBank. In addition, iPhyClassifier software (4) was employed to create a virtual RFLP profile. The analysis showed that the RFLP profile of the sesame phytoplasma 16S rDNA sequence is identical (a similarity coefficient of 1.00) to the profile of the 16Sr group IX phytoplasma reference sequence (Y16389). A phylogenetic tree was also constructed using the neighbor joining plot option of the Clustal X program. The sequence clustered together with 16SrIX group phytoplasmas. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a natural infection of sesame by a new phytoplasma species from the 16SrIX group in Turkey.
References: (1) D. E. Gundersen and I.-M. Lee. Phytopathol. Mediterr. 35:144, 1996. (2) C. Ikten et al. Phytopathogenic Mollicutes 1:101, 2011. (3) C. D. Smart et al. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:2988, 1996. (4) Y. Zhao et al. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 59:2582, 2009.