Presence of 16SrIV phytoplasmas of subgroups A, D and E in planthopper Haplaxius crudus Van Duzee insects in Yucatán, Mexico

María Narváez, Roberto Vázquez-Euán, Nigel A. Harrison, Germán Nic-Matos, Jean Francois Julia, Jean Luc Dzido, Sandrine Fabre, Michel Dollet, Carlos Oropeza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The present study was carried out to determine if group 16SrIV phytoplasmas, causing lethal yellowing (LY) disease, are present in Haplaxius crudus Van Duzee (Hemiptera: Cixiidae) insects associated with palms in Yucatán, Mexico. Haplaxius crudus feral insects were captured from palm foliage at two locations (Chicxulub Puerto and CICY, Mérida, where LY-type diseases are active) and evaluated individually for the presence of phytoplasma DNA by a group 16SrIV-specific nested PCR assay. The results showed positive detection in H. crudus insects in a proportion of 2.7% (of the total 2726 analyzed) during a 3-year period of study. The percentage of detection was different for each site, 5.9% positive of 799 insects from Mérida and 1.7% of 1927 from Chicxulub Puerto. Positive detections were also obtained in extracts from 5.3 to 1.2% of males and females, respectively. Sequencing and in silico RFLP and phylogenetic analyses of PCR-amplified rDNA products indicated that H. crudus insects from Chicxulub Puerto harbored phytoplasma strains of subgroups 16SrIV-A or 16SrIV-D, whereas in insects from Mérida the strains found were 16SrIV-A, 16SrIV-D or 16SrIV-E. The diversity of subgroup strains detected in H. crudus coincided with strains previously identified in palms showing LY-type disease syndromes in Yucatán thereby implicating H. crudus as a candidate vector of 16SrIV phytoplasmas in this region of Mexico.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Journal3 Biotech
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Haplaxius crudus
  • Lethal yellowing-type syndromes
  • PCR detection
  • Phytoplasmas


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