First report of the identification of a 'Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni'-related strain of phytoplasma in Melothria pendula.
Melothria pendula, also known as the creeping cucumber or the Guadeloupe cucumber, is a plant in the Cucurbitacea family with exceptional laxative properties. It is known as pepininho in Brazil where it is widespread throughout the southern, central and northern regions, growing wild in household gardens and backyards. Symptoms of chlorosis, little leaf and leaf malformation were observed in M. pendula plants grown in private gardens of the Seropédica area in the state of Rio de Janeiro, during 2016. The causal pathogen was isolated and identified as a Phytoplasma pruni-related strain based on various molecular analyses. This is thought to be the first report of the identification of a P. pruni-related strain of phytoplasma in M. pendula.