FIRST OCCURRENCE OF PHYTOPLASMA IN RHODODENDRON SP. IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Rhododendron Cunningham`s White PS986 with leaf malformation and variegation was found in Prague in 1997. The PS986 plant was propagated in vitro and regenerants with severe, mild and no symptoms were obtained in 1999. In 2000 a phytoplasma infection was detected by nested PCR in original plant and also in regenerants with symptoms. PCR products of DNA amplification with a primer pair R16F1/R16R0 and the universal primer pair R16F2/R16R2 were used as a template in nested PCR. In 2002 phytoplasma was detected in Rhododendron hybr. PS2716 and PS2439 from Pruhonice showing similar symptoms. In 2003 the described symptoms occurred on Rhododendron hybr. PS2863 growing near-by the PS2716 plant and phytoplasma infection was confirmed also in this plant. The phytoplasmas were identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis using amplified R16F2/R16R2 DNA fragments digested with restriction endonucleases RsaI, MseI and AluI (Promega). PCR products of PS986 and PS2439 plants corresponded to the restriction profiles of stolbur phytoplasma group (16SrXII group). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first detection of phytoplasma in rhododendron in the Czech Republic and stolbur-type phytoplasma in rhododendron in the world.
Mertelik, J., Kloudova, K., Vanc, P., Mokra, V., Sediva, J., Navratil, M. and Valova, P. (2006). FIRST OCCURRENCE OF PHYTOPLASMA IN RHODODENDRON SP. IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. Acta Hortic. 722, 355-358
rhododendron, leaf malformation, leaf variegation, nested-PCR, RFLP, stolbur phytoplasma