First report of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia' associated with phyllody disease of snake weed in India.
Snake weed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) is a common weed found in agricultural waste fields in India. Phyllody disease symptoms typical to phytoplasma infection were observed on snake weed during December 2018 with a disease incidence of 28-30% in the fields of Gangavathi, Karnataka, India. Ten samples from symptomatic plants were collected along with 5 asymptomatic samples. Total DNA was extracted and used as a template for detection of phytoplasma using universal phytoplasma primers and secA gene primers in seminested PCR. The causal pathogen was identified as 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia' based on various molecular analyses. Sequences of one each clone of 16S rRNA and secA gene were deposited in the NCBI GenBank with accession numbers MK603205 and MN199183, respectively. This is thought to be the first report of 16SrII-C subgroup phytoplasma associated with phyllody disease of snake weed from India.