Identification of aster yellows group (subgroup 16SrI-C) phytoplasma in Festuca arundinacea based on PCR and RFLP methods [Astrų geltos grupės (16SrI-C pogrupio) fitoplazmos, pažeidžiančios Festuca arundinacea augalus, identifikavimas PGR ir RFLP metodais]. – Botanica Lithuanica, 12(2): 121–125

A phytoplasma was detected in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) exhibiting symptoms of general yellowing, stunting, proliferation of stems, sterility, and withering of spikes. Diseased plants were collected at the Plant Breeding Centre of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture in the selection-experimental fields. The presence of phytoplasma in diseased tall fescue was demonstrated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. The amplification yielded 1.8 kb (primer pair P1/P7) and 1.2 kb (primer pair R16F2n/R16R2) PCR products using direct and nested-PCRs, respectively. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of amplified 16S rDNA indicated that diseased tall fescues were infected by phytoplasma belonging to the group 16SrI (aster yellows, AY), subgroup 16SrI-C, which type strain is clover phyllody (CPh). The phytoplasma strain detected in tall fescue was named fescue yellows (FesY) phytoplasma. This is the first report of phytoplasma belonging to 16SrI-C subgroup identified in tall fescue plants.

Keywords: Festuca arundinacea, phytoplasma, PCR, RFLP, 16S rRNA gene.