MADRAS AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL
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Occurrence, Distribution and Molecular Characterization of Phytoplasma Infecting Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) from Tamil Nadu

Abstract

                                Phytoplasma is an obligate prokaryote infecting a wide array of crops suchas urdbean, sesame, brinjal and many other vegetable crops in India.Several workers have noticed the recent outbreak of phytoplasma diseasein several pulse crops. A study was conducted to identify the phytoplasmainfection in chickpea from Tamil Nadu. The average disease incidence dueto phytoplasma was recorded with a range of 5-20% under field condition.The infected plants produced symptoms including stunting of plants, bushyappearance, reduced leaf size, chlorosis and reddening of infected leaves.The association of phytoplasma with these symptoms was confirmed bynested PCR assay using the universal primers P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2.The infected samples were amplified with an amplicon size of 1.2 kb andsequence analysis showed more than 99% similarity with phytoplasmabelongs to Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia. Phylogenetic analysis ofnucleotide sequences confirmed the chickpea phyllody phytoplasma formsa single subgroup with other Indian isolates of various crops.

Key words : Chickpea phytoplasma; occurrence; Nested PCR; Phylogenetic analysis

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