Detection, in silico analysis and molecular diversity of phytoplasmas from solanaceous crops in Turkey

Usta M., Güller A., Sipahioğlu H.M. (2022): Detection, in silico analysis and molecular diversity of phytoplasmas from solanaceous crops in Turkey. Plant Protect. Sci., 58:31-39.

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Phytoplasma-like symptoms of leaf yellowing and calyx malformation were observed in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), upward leaves and fruit malformation in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), and aerial tuber formation in potato (S. tuberosum L.) during the survey performed in the late season (August to September) of 2015 and 2016 in Van province (Turkey). A total of 100 samples were tested by nested-PCR using universal primer pairs to assess the sanitary status of the solanaceous crops and to characterise the phytoplasma isolates. Among them, seven samples resulted in a 1.25 kb DNA fragment, and five (two eggplants, two peppers, and one potato) were molecularly characterised (Accession No.: KY579357, KT595210, MF564267, MF564266, and MH683601). BLAST and the virtual restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed the presence of two distinct phytoplasma infections in solanaceous crops: ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii’ a member of the clover proliferation group (16SrVI) and subgroup A and ‘Candidatus P. solani’ a member of the stolbur group (16SrXII) and subgroup A. The virtual RFLP analysis and calculated coefficients of RFLP pattern similarities further revealed a remarkable genetic diversity among the ‘Candidatus P. solani’ isolates infecting pepper (similarity coefficient of 0.90) and eggplant (similarity coefficients of 0.98 and 1.00) at the same geographical area. This is the first report of the natural occurrence of ‘Candidadtus P. trifolii’ in potato from the Eastern Anatolia region, Turkey.

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