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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2007 Aug;57(Pt 8):1855-67.

Computer-simulated RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA genes: identification of ten new phytoplasma groups.

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  • 1Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.

Abstract

Phytoplasmas are cell wall-less bacteria that cause numerous plant diseases. As no phytoplasma has been cultured in cell-free medium, phytoplasmas cannot be differentiated and classified by the traditional methods which are applied to culturable prokaryotes. Over the past decade, the establishment of a phytoplasma classification scheme based on 16S rRNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns has enabled the accurate and reliable identification and classification of a wide range of phytoplasmas. In the present study, we expanded this classification scheme through the use of computer-simulated RFLP analysis, achieving rapid differentiation and classification of phytoplasmas. Over 800 publicly available phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequences were aligned using the CLUSTAL_X program and the aligned 1.25 kb fragments were exported to pDRAW32 software for in silico restriction digestion and virtual gel plotting. Based on distinctive virtual RFLP patterns and calculated similarity coefficients, phytoplasma strains were classified into 28 groups. The results included the classification of hundreds of previously unclassified phytoplasmas and the delineation of 10 new phytoplasma groups representing three recently described and seven novel putative 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa.

PMID:
17684271
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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