ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW PHYTOPLASMA SUBGROUP 16SRIQ TO ACCOMMODATE A PREVIOUSLY UNDESCRIBED PHYTOPLASMA FOUND IN DISEASED CHERRY IN LITHUANIA
D. Valiunas, R. Jomantiene, R.E. Davis
Symptoms of shoot proliferation and abnormally small leaves were observed in diseased sour cherry (Cerasus vulgaris Mill., syn. Prunus cerasus L.) affected by cherry little leaf (ChLL) disease on the Neringa peninsula, Lithuania. Amplification of phytoplasma characteristic 16S rDNA from the diseased cherry indicated infection by a phytoplasma. On the basis of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and nucleotide sequence analysis of 16S rDNA amplified by PCR, the ChLL phytoplasma was classified in group 16SrI (aster yellows phytoplasma group), new subgroup 16SrI-Q. Results from phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that ChLL phytoplasma was related to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ and may represent a distinct phytoplasma lineage.