In April 2008, symptoms similar to those previously described for aubergine little leaf disease were observed in aubergine plants in Kaliganj, Bangladesh. Disease incidence was up to 45%, and yield per plant was reduced by 90%. A nearby weed (Mikania sp.) also showed early symptoms of phytoplasma infection, such as small yellow and distorted leaves. Leaf samples from symptomatic and symptomless aubergine and Mikania sp. were collected and analysed. Total DNA was extracted and assayed in a nested PCR with universal phytoplasma 16S rRNA primers P1/P7 and fU5/rU3. No PCR amplicons were produced by symptomless samples, but products of expected size (~880 bp) were obtained from four out of five aubergine plants, and one of the four Mikania samples. Amplicons were purified, cloned and sequenced. All 16S rRNA aubergine phytoplasma sequences were highly identical (100%), and a representative sequence was deposited in GenBank (Accession. No. EU921446). The Mikania sequence (EU921447) shared 99% identity with that from aubergine, and both showed 99% identity with members of group 16SrI, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris' [Phytoplasma asteris]. This is thought to be the first record of a 'Ca. Phytoplasma asteris'-related strain associated with aubergine little leaf disease and Mikania in South East Asia, including Bangladesh.
Kelly, P.L.; Arocha, Y.; Dider, S.Z. First report of a 16SrI, &#8216;Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris&#8217; isolate affecting eggplant and Mikania sp. in Bangladesh. Plant Pathology (2009) 58 (4) 789-789. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2009.02070.x]