Characterization of phytoplasma associated with periwinkle witches’-broom disease in Pakistan

Rizwan Khan, Najeeb Ullah, Khalid Pervaiz Akhtar, Shabir Ullah, Muhammad Fahim


Severely malformed periwinkle plants suspected of phytoplasma infection were observed in the lawn at Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (IBGE), the University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan. Approximately 10 to 25% of the plants were infected and based on nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results using phytoplasma-specific primer pairs (P1/P7 followed by R16F2n/R16R2), phytoplasma was detected in these plants. One amplicon of nested PCR was subsequently sequenced (GenBank accession No. MH396693) which shown 99% identity with 16Sr-I subgroup phytoplasma in BLASTn analysis and was also grouped together with phytoplasmas of subgroup16Sr-IB in the phylogenetic tree. To our knowledge, this is the first record of 16Sr-IB phytoplasma infecting periwinkle plants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan


Periwinkle, Phyllody, Virescence, Witches' broom

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