Multilocus sequence analysis of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ strain and the genome analysis of Turnip mosaic virus co-infecting oilseed rape




Molecular characterization of a pathogenic complex infecting winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp. oleifera (DC.) Metzg.) plants showing typical rape phyllody symptoms along with some atypical changes.

Methods and Results

Phytoplasma (‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’) presence was confirmed by PCR-RFLP and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Phylogenetic analyses of phytoplasma amp, tufB, secY, groEL and ribosomal protein genes confirmed its affiliation to the ‘Ca. P. asteris’ species. However, in the amp gene encoding a specific protein crucial for insect transmission specificity, significant SNPs were found. Biological and serological tests revealed the co-infection with Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV). The phylogenetic analysis of full TuMV genome sequence, the first reported from the Balkans, classified it into the world-B phylogenetic lineage.


A pathogenic complex consisting of ‘Ca. P. asteris’ and TuMV found to co-infect oilseed rape plants for the first time was molecularly characterized.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Rape phyllody is a serious problem in rapeseed production. The molecular information from this first multi-gene analysis of ‘Ca. P. asteris’ strain associated with rape phyllody as well as the first report of the complete sequence of TuMV isolate from the Balkans is a starting point for understanding the disease complexity and management.