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Phytopathogenic Mollicutes
Year : 2011, Volume : 1, Issue : 1
First page : ( 41) Last page : ( 46)
Print ISSN : 2249-4669. Online ISSN : 2249-4677.
Article DOI : 10.5958/j.2249-4669.1.1.006

Molecular detection and identification of phytoplasmas associated with little leaf and witches’ broom disease of marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) in India

Raj Shri Krishna1, Snehi Sunil Kumar1, Khan Mohd Sajid1, Singh Maneesha2, Chaturvedi Yamini2, Tiwari Ajay Kumar2, Rao Govind P.3

1Plant Molecular Virology, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow-226001, U.P., India

2Sugarcane Research Station, Kunraghat, Gorakhpur-273008, U.P., India

3Division of Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-110012, India

Corresponding author e-mail: *skraj2@rediffmail.com

Received:  11  February,  2011; Accepted:  7  April,  2011.


Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) is widely cultivated commercially as ornamental plant in India and worldwide. Little leaf and witches’ broom disease symptoms were observed in a number of T. erecta plants growing in garden at Lucknow and cultivated fields around Gorakhpur in the years 2007 and 2008. The phytoplasma presence was detected by direct PCR followed by nested PCR using universal phytoplasma primers which resulted into ~1.2 kbp amplicons only in symptomatic samples of T. erecta. The amplicons obtained from symptomatic samples collected from both locations were sequenced and data deposited in GenBank database under accession numbers: HM230685 (Tagetes erecta little leaf phytoplasma-Gorakhpur) and EU516321 (marigold witches’ broom phytoplasma-Lucknow). The phytoplasma-Gorakhpur shared highest 99% sequence identities and closest phylogenetic relationships with several ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ (16SrI group), however, phytoplasma-Lucknow shared only 96% identities and distant relationships with ‘Ca. P. asteris’ (16SrI) group. Hence, ‘Ca. P. asteris’ (16SrI) group and a new ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species associated with little leaf and witches’ broom disease, respectively, were identified.



Marigold, little leaf and witches’ broom disease, nested PCR, sequence analysis, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’, 16SrI group.


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