Abstract: Bogia coconut syndrome (BCS) is one of the lethal yellowing (LY)-type diseases associated with phytoplasma presence that are seriously threatening coconut cultivation worldwide. It has recently emerged, and is rapidly spreading in northern parts of the island of New Guinea. BCS-associated phytoplasmas collected in different regions were compared in terms of 16S rRNA gene sequences, revealing high identity among them represented by strain BCS-BoR. Comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that BCS-BoR shared less than a 97.5 % similarity with other species of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’, with a maximum value of 96.08 % (with strain LY; GenBank accession no. U18747). This result indicates the necessity and propriety of a novel taxon for BCS phytoplasmas according to the recommendations of the IRPCM. Phylogenetic analysis was also conducted on 16S rRNA gene sequences, resulting in a monophyletic cluster composed of BCS-BoR and other LY-associated phytoplasmas. Other phytoplasmas on the island of New Guinea associated with banana wilt and arecanut yellow leaf diseases showed high similarities to BCS-BoR and were closely related to BCS phytoplasmas. Based on the uniqueness of their 16S rRNA gene sequences, a novel taxon ‘Ca. Phytoplasma noviguineense’ is proposed for these phytoplasmas found on the island of New Guinea, with strain BCS-BoR (GenBank accession no. LC228755) as the reference strain. The novel taxon is described in detail, including information on the symptoms of associated diseases and additional genetic features of the secY gene and rp operon.
The GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession numbers for the 16S rRNA gene, secY, and rp operon nucleotide sequences from strain BCS-BoR are LC228755, LC228769, and LC228762, respectively. The GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession numbers for the nucleotide sequences from the other strains used in this study are listed in Table S1.
Two supplementary tables are available with the online Supplementary Material.
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Can a member please simplify this report for us non-molecular pathologists.