First report of a phytoplasma affecting cassava orchards in Cote d'Ivoire.
The Recently, symptoms of leaf mosaic, curling and yellowing were observed in cassava orchards located in the coconut-growing villages of Badadon and Braffedon in Grand-Lahou, which are currently affected by Côte d'Ivoire lethal yellowing phytoplasma (CILY). Leaf samples were collected at random from 12 symptom-bearing and two symptomless cassava plants from the two villages. Total DNA was extracted and used as a template for a nested PCR assay with universal primers that target the phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene, R16mF2/R1 for the first PCR reaction, and R16F2n/R2 for the nested reaction. A second PCR assay was performed with primers P1 and P7 followed by a nested PCR with primers G813 and AwkaSR that specifically target the 16S rRNA gene and part of the intergenic region 16/23S rRNA gene of the Cape St. Paul Wilt Disease phytoplasma (16SrXXII-B) from Ghana. A phytoplasma was revealed based on sequence analysis and phylogenetic studies. This is thought to be the first report of a phytoplasma affecting cassava in Côte d'Ivoire. The findings suggest that cassava may be a potential alternative host for the CILY phytoplasma, which poses a serious threat for the food security of the smallholder coconut and cassava farmers, especially women in Grand-Lahou.