INVESTIGATION ON TRANSMITTANCE STATUS OF OROSIUS ALBICINCTUS HEMIPTERA: CICADELLIDAE AS A NATURAL VECTOR OF PHYTOPLASMAS IN SOUTHEASTERN IRAN
M. Omidi, A. Hosseini Pour, H. Massumi, H. Rahimian
Orosius albicinctus leafhoppers were collected from herbaceous wild plant, potato, alfalfa and sesame fields in Jiroft and Shahdad (Kerman province, Iran) and caged on periwinkle plants. Two plants developed typical phytoplasma disease symptoms including phyllody and virescence. Total DNA was extracted from the symptomatic plants and tested for the presence of phytoplasma DNA by polymerase chain reaction using primers P1/P7 (for amplification of 16S rDNA) and primers P3/P7 (for amplification of the 16S-23S ribosomal spacer region). According to the congruent results of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of 16S rDNA, nucleotide sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis of the spacer region, the phytoplasma infecting periwinkles fed on by the O. albicinctus collected in Jiroft showed the closest relationship with subgroup A members of the clover proliferation group, including Iranian cabbage yellows. By contrast, the phytoplasma infecting periwinkles fed on by the O. albicinctus collected in Shahdad was a strain related to Peanut witches’ broom group Phytoplasma highly similar to the phytoplasma associated with alfalfa witches’ broom. These results indicate that O. albicinctus is the natural vector of two different phytoplasmas in southeastern Iran.