Molecular Detection And Characterization of Phytoplasma Associated with Periwinkle
Phytoplasmas are cell wall-less, non-helical prokaryotes that colonize plant phloem and insects gut wall and are known to cause devastating losses in crops and natural ecosystems worldwide. Amplification and band of ~1.8 kb and ~1.25 kb was obtained with little leaf disease of periwinkle and parthenium phyllody samples, but not other phytoplasma suspected samples with the phytoplasma specific primer pairs P1/P7 and R16F2/R2 in first and second round PCR respectively confirming its phytoplasmal etiology. The partial sequence (GenBank accession: HQ127073) of 16S rRNA gene of the present isolate shared 99 per cent homology with reported Sugarcane yellow leaf phytoplasma isolate from Brazil belonging Candidatus phytoplasma asteris (Group 16Sr I-B) isolate. Evolutionarily closeness to subgroup 16SrI-B (‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’) and virtual RFLP Pattern similarity to 16SrI-B predict that the little leaf disease of periwinkle from Dharwad belongs to 16S rDNA I-B phytoplasma group.