1887

Abstract

The trivial name ‘phytoplasma’ has been adopted to collectively name wall-less, non-helical prokaryotes that colonize plant phloem and insects, which were formerly known as mycoplasma-like organisms. Although phytoplasmas have not yet been cultivated , phylogenetic analyses based on various conserved genes have shown that they represent a distinct, monophyletic clade within the class . It is proposed here to accommodate phytoplasmas within the novel genus ‘ () Phytoplasma’. Given the diversity within ‘ Phytoplasma’, several subtaxa are needed to accommodate organisms that share <97·5 % similarity among their 16S rRNA gene sequences. This report describes the properties of ‘ Phytoplasma’, a taxon that includes the species ‘ Phytoplasma aurantifolia’ (the prokaryote associated with witches'-broom disease of small-fruited acid lime), ‘ Phytoplasma australiense’ (associated with Australian grapevine yellows), ‘ Phytoplasma fraxini’ (associated with ash yellows), ‘ Phytoplasma japonicum’ (associated with Japanese hydrangea phyllody), ‘ Phytoplasma brasiliense’ (associated with hibiscus witches'-broom in Brazil), ‘ Phytoplasma castaneae’ (associated with chestnut witches'-broom in Korea), ‘ Phytoplasma asteris' (associated with aster yellows), ‘ Phytoplasma mali’ (associated with apple proliferation), ‘ Phytoplasma phoenicium’ (associated with almond lethal disease), ‘ Phytoplasma trifolii’ (associated with clover proliferation), ‘ Phytoplasma cynodontis' (associated with Bermuda grass white leaf), ‘ Phytoplasma ziziphi’ (associated with jujube witches'-broom), ‘ Phytoplasma oryzae’ (associated with rice yellow dwarf) and six species-level taxa for which the species designation has not yet been formally proposed (for the phytoplasmas associated with X-disease of peach, grapevine flavescence dorée, Central American coconut lethal yellows, Tanzanian lethal decline of coconut, Nigerian lethal decline of coconut and loofah witches'-broom, respectively). Additional species are needed to accommodate organisms that, despite their 16S rRNA gene sequence being >97·5 % similar to those of other ‘ Phytoplasma’ species, are characterized by distinctive biological, phytopathological and genetic properties. These include ‘ Phytoplasma pyri’ (associated with pear decline), ‘ Phytoplasma prunorum’ (associated with European stone fruit yellows), ‘ Phytoplasma spartii’ (associated with spartium witches'-broom), ‘ Phytoplasma rhamni’ (associated with buckthorn witches'-broom), ‘ Phytoplasma allocasuarinae’ (associated with allocasuarina yellows), ‘ Phytoplasma ulmi’ (associated with elm yellows) and an additional taxon for the stolbur phytoplasma. Conversely, some organisms, despite their 16S rRNA gene sequence being <97·5 % similar to that of any other ‘ Phytoplasma’ species, are not presently described as species, due to their poor overall characterization.

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2004-07-01
2020-08-06
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