1887

Abstract

Phytoplasmas are unculturable, phytopathogenic bacteria that cause economic losses worldwide. As unculturable micro-organisms, phytoplasma taxonomy has been based on the use of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene to establish 16Sr groups and subgroups based on the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) pattern resulting from the digestion of amplicon () or sequence () with seventeen restriction enzymes. Problems such as heterogeneity of the ribosomal operon and the inability to differentiate closely related phytoplasma strains has motivated the search for additional markers capable of providing finer differentiation of phytoplasma strains. In this study we developed and validated a scheme to classify phytoplasmas based on the use of 60 universal target ( UT) sequences. Ninety-six 60 UT sequences from strains belonging to 19 16Sr subgroups were subjected to RFLP using pDRAW32 software, resulting in 25 distinctive RFLP profiles. Based on these results we delineated 60 UT groups and subgroups, and established a threshold similarity coefficient for groups and subgroups classifying all the strains analysed in this study. The nucleotide identity among the reference strains, the correspondence between and RFLP, and the phylogenetic relationships of phytoplasma strains based on UT sequences are also discussed.

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2016-12-01
2019-12-12
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