Parthenium phyllody in eastern Uttar Pradesh India: epidemiology and host range of phytoplasma within important crops cultivated in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.
Parthenium hysterophorus(Asteraceae) is one of the 10 worst weeds in the world. This weed became the major invasive weed in both arable and grazing lands due to competitiveness and adaptability to different climates and soils. The natural occurrence of phyllody was noticed in approximately 10-15% of P. hysterophorus plants growing wildly along the roadside in Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Gorakhpur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh, India, during the summer of 2010. To test whether P. hysterophorus plants harbor phytoplasma, which may also infect important weeds and cultivated plants in eastern Uttar Pradesh, phyllody symptoms were collected and assessed by PCR in P. hysterophorus, groundnuts, sesame and grass pea. It was shown that P. hysterophorus can be a pathogen reservoir for the phytoplasmas affecting agricultural crops in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which can lead to the spread of phyllody disease to crops in the area.