1887

Abstract

Phytoplasmas are a diverse but phylogenetically coherent group of cell-wall-less bacteria affiliated with the class . Due to difficulties in establishing axenic culture, phytoplasmas were assigned to a provisional genus, ‘ Phytoplasma’, and the genus was embraced within the order . However, phytoplasmas differ significantly from species of the genus in their habitat specificities, modes of life, metabolic capabilities, genomic architectures, and phylogenetic positions. This communication describes the unique ecological, nutritional, biochemical, genomic and phylogenetic properties that distinguish phytoplasmas from species of the genus and all other taxa in the class . Since such distinguishing properties of the phytoplasmas are not referable to the descriptions of the order and of all other existing orders, namely , and , this communication raises the question of whether ‘ Phytoplasma ’ should be retained in the order or whether a novel provisional order and family should be created to accommodate the genus ‘ Phytoplasma ’.

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2015-03-01
2020-01-26
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