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Occurrence, Molecular Characterization and Vector Transmission of a Phytoplasma Associated with Rapeseed Phyllody in Iran

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Symptoms of rapeseed phyllody were observed in rapeseed fields of Fars, Ghazvin, Isfahan, Kerman and Yazd provinces in Iran. Circulifer haematoceps leafhoppers testing positive for phytoplasma in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) successfully transmitted a rapeseed phyllody phytoplasma isolate from Zarghan (Fars province) to healthy rapeseed plants directly after collection in the field or after acquisition feeding on infected rapeseed in the greenhouse. The disease agent was transmitted by the same leafhopper from rape to periwinkle, sesame, stock, mustard, radish and rocket plants causing phytoplasma-type symptoms in these plants. PCR assays using phytoplasma-specific primer pair P1/P7 or nested PCR using primers P1/P7 followed by R16F2n/R2, amplified products of expected size (1.8 and 1.2 kbp, respectively) from symptomatic rapeseed plants and C.┬áhaematoceps specimens. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of amplification products of nested PCR and putative restriction site analysis of 16S rRNA gene indicated the presence of aster yellows-related phytoplasmas (16SrI-B) in naturally and experimentally infected rapeseed plants and in samples of C.┬áhaematoceps collected in affected rapeseed fields. Sequence homology and phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene confirmed that the associated phytoplasma detected in Zarghan rapeseed plant is closer to the members of the subgroup 16SrI-B than to other members of the AY group. This is the first report of natural occurrence and characterization of rapeseed phyllody phytoplasma, including its vector identification, in Iran.

Keywords: insect transmission; oilseed rape; phytoplasma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Authors’ addresses: Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center of Fars, Iran 2: Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran (correspondence to K. Izadpanah. or, Email:

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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