Detection and Molecular Characterization of ‘
Stunted European hazel (Corylus avellana L.) plants showing leaf yellowing were observed in south‐eastern Poland. Phytoplasma‐specific primers P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2, as well as primers specific for aster yellows (16SrI), X‐disease (16SrIII) and apple proliferation (16SrX) groups were singly used in nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the 16S rDNA from 22 symptomatic and asymptomatic hazel plants. Restriction fragment length polymorphism with MseI, HhaI, RsaI and BfaI enzymes of the 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified with the primers R16F2n/R16R2 from three symptomatic hazel plants of cvs Katalonski, Webba and Halle revealed patterns identical to those from the AY1 strain related to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’. The nucleotide sequence analysis confirmed this result. This is the first report of the natural occurrence of ‘Ca. P. asteris’ in European hazel in Poland.
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