Molecular characterization of phytoplasma diseases of pepper in Turkey

Yilmaz S., Çağlar B. K., Djelouah K.

JOURNAL OF PHYTOPATHOLOGY, vol.167, no.9, pp.479-483, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 167 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jph.12820
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.479-483
  • Keywords: clover proliferation, in silico, Mersin, phytoplasma disease, CLOVER PROLIFERATION PHYTOPLASMA, SOLANACEOUS CROPS, CANDIDATUS
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


During autumn, an extensive survey was conducted in pepper (Capsicum annum L.) in intensive cultivation areas of four provinces in southeastern Turkey (Adana, Kahramanmaras, Mersin and Sanliurfa) in order to identify the causal agent (s) of phytoplasma-like symptoms (chlorosis, little-leaf, short internodes and stunting). DNA amplification by PCR and RFLP analysis using EcoRI restriction enzyme confirmed the presence of phytoplasmas in Sanliurfa and Mersin, and consequently their possible association with the symptoms. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolate from Sanliurfa had 99% sequence identity with "Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii" (16SrVI) and is a member of the clover proliferation group (16SrVI-A). Additionally, the isolate from Mersin had 96% sequence identity with "Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris" (16SrI). Importantly, gene sequence of the Mersin isolate shared Ca. Phytoplasma" species. Consequently, the phytoplasma detected from Mersin could represent a new "Ca. Phytoplasma" species and to our knowledge, this is the first report of asteris-like phytoplasmas infecting pepper in Turkey.