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Occurrence and Distribution of Grapevine Yellows Caused by Stolbur Phytoplasma in Montenegro


Department of Plant Pests, Institute for Plant Protection and Environment, Zemun, Serbia


In August 2008, grapevine yellows (GY)-like symptoms were observed in vineyards near Podgorica, Montenegro. A survey of the grape growing area of Montenegro was conducted to identify and determine the distribution of phytoplasmas associated with grapevine. Phytoplasmas were detected in symptomatic vine plants using PCR with universal primers for amplification of the phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene. From the 42 plants sampled, 36 were positive for the presence of phytoplasmas. RFLP profiles of the 16S rDNA of all phytoplasma positive isolates tested indicated that they belong to 16SrXII-A phylogenetic group. PCR with stolbur specific primers confirmed the presence of stolbur phytoplasma in grapevine samples from Montenegro. Sequence and RFLP analysis of the tuf gene indicated the presence of the tufAY-a and tufAY-b types of stolbur phytoplasma. To our knowledge, this is the first report of phytoplasma infection of grapevine in Montenegro.