Population genetic analysis reveals a low level of genetic diversity of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia’ causing witches’ broom disease in lime

Shaikha Y. Al-Abadi, Abdullah M. Al-Sadi*, Matthew Dickinson, Mohammed S. Al-Hammadi, Rashid Al-Shariqi, Rashid A. Al-Yahyai, Elham A. Kazerooni, Assunta Bertaccini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Witches’ broom disease of lime (WBDL) is a serious phytoplasma disease of acid lime in Oman, the UAE and Iran. Despite efforts to study it, no systemic study attempted to characterize the relationship among the associated phytoplasma, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia’, from the three countries. This study utilized sequences of the 16S rRNA, imp and secA genes to characterize 57 strains collected from Oman (38), the UAE (9) and Iran (10). Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that the 57 strains shared 98.5–100 % nucleotide similarity to each other and to strains of ‘Ca. P. aurantifolia’ available in GenBank. The level of genetic diversity was low based on the 16S rRNA (0-0.011), imp (0–0.002) and secA genes (0–0.015). The presence of low level of diversity among phytoplasma strains from Oman, the UAE and Iran can be explained by the movement of infected lime seedlings from one country to another through trading and exchange of infected plants. The study discusses implication of the findings on WBDL spread and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1701
JournalSpringerPlus
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Acid lime
  • Phytoplasma
  • Population structure
  • WBDL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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