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Effects of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ on the Volatile Chemical Content and Composition of Grindelia robusta Nutt.

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Grindelia robusta, a perennial herb, contains an essential oil that is used as an antitussive, sedative, and analgesic agent. During the spring of 2007, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-related phytoplasmas were identified in plants showing virescence and phyllody symptoms. The qualitative and quantitative composition of the oil of healthy and infected plants was compared by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Samples from six symptomatic and five asymptomatic plants tested by nested PCR followed by RFLP analyses confirmed the presence of ‘Ca. P. asteris’ in all symptomatic samples. The oils from healthy and infected plants, obtained by steam distillation, contained 42 components; that of healthy plants contained a higher concentration of monoterpenes, especially limonene and bornyl acetate, which were nearly 50% higher.

Keywords: Grindelia robusta; aster yellows; essential oil; secondary metabolism; ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: 1: Authors’ addresses: DiSTA - Patologia vegetale, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Viale G. Fanin 42, 40127 Bologna, Italy 2: Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologia del Farmaco, University of Perugia, Via del Liceo, 06123 Perugia, Italy 3: Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, University ‘G. D’Annunzio’, Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy (correspondence to A. Bertaccini. ), Email:

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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