Detection and identification of the heterogeneous novel subgroup 16SrXIII-(A/I)I phytoplasma associated with strawberry green petal disease and Mexican periwinkle virescence

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2016 Nov;66(11):4406-4415. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001365. Epub 2016 Aug 2.


Phytoplasmas (species of the genus 'CandidatusPhytoplasma') are insect-vectored phytopathogenic bacteria associated with economically and ecologically important crop diseases. Strawberry production represents an important part of agricultural activity in Mexico and elsewhere, and infection of plants with phytoplasma renders the fruit inedible by altering plant development, resulting in virescence and phyllody. In this study we examined samples taken from four strawberry plants showing symptoms associated with strawberry green petal disease and from two periwinkle plants showing virescence, sampled in different areas of Mexico. Analysis of the 16S rRNA-encoding sequences showed that the plants were infected with a phytoplasma previously identified as Mexican periwinkle virescence (MPV; 16SrXIII). Examination of bacterial sequences from these samples revealed that two distinct 16S rRNA gene sequences were present in each sample along with a single chaperonin-60 (cpn60) sequence and a single rpoB sequence, suggesting that this strain displays 16S rRNA gene sequence heterogeneity. Two distinct rrn operons, identified with subgroup 16SrXIII-A and the newly described subgroup 16SrXIII-I, were identified from the six samples analyzed, delineating the novel subgroup 16SrXIII-(A/I)I, following the nomenclature proposed for heterogeneous subgroups.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Base Composition
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Fragaria / parasitology*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Mexico
  • Operon
  • Phylogeny*
  • Phytoplasma / classification*
  • Phytoplasma / genetics
  • Phytoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Vinca / microbiology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S