Surender Kumar

Year of selection 2016
Cohort 3

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Phone number

89883 23034 (IN)

Home Institute

Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, India

Host Institute

University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Lab, Institute, Country

Plant Pathology  Lab, DiSAA, UNIMI, Italy

Name of Researcher/Supervisor Dr. Fabio Quaglino
Duration of working period 11 months
Title and Brief report of the work (max 300 words)

Molecular typing of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium' strain populations associated with almond witches'-broom disease in the Middle East

Phytoplasmas are bacterial plant pathogens that cause economically relevant yield losses in several low- and high- value annual and perennial crops worldwide. They are transmitted plant-to-plant by phloem feeders, mostly leafhoppers, planthoppers and psyllids and inhabit in the phloem tissue of infected plants. Based on molecular and other biological features, phytoplasma strains have been classified into 37 species within the provisional genus ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ and taxonomic groupings have also been delimited according to the 16S rRNA gene. Almond witches’-broom (AlmWB) is one of the major phytoplasma disease affecting production of stone fruits mainly, almond, peach and nectarine in the Lebanon and Iran, it is caused by ‘Ca. Phytoplasma phoenicium’, taxonomic subgroup 16SrIX-B and its genetic variants belong to the pigeon pea witches’-broom (PPWB) group. Results from previous studies suggested that AlmWB disease in Lebanon could be associated with phytoplasma strains derived from the adaptation of an original strain to diverse hosts. The present study has involved identification and characterization of phytoplasmas associated with AlmWB disease in Iran. 16SrDNA-based RFLP and phylogenetic analyses allowed to classified the detected phytoplasma strains found in affected almond trees in the Kerman region of Iran into two distinct species, ‘Ca. Phytoplasma solani’ (subgroup 16SrXII-A) and ‘Ca. Phytoplasma phoenicium’ (subgroup 16SrIX-B). Detected strains of both species were further characterized using multiple gene sequence analyses approach, to distinguish them from strains were previously reported in the Middle East and worldwide.

List of publications with impact factor, presentation of the research work in conferences/ seminars /workshops

Alizadeh, H., Quaglino, F., Azadvar, M., Kumar, S., Alizadeh, A., Bolboli, F., ... & Bianco, P. A. (2017). First Report of a New Citrus Decline Disease (CDD) in Association with Double and Single Infection by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia’ Related Strains in Iran. Plant Disease, 101(12), 2145-2145. Imapct factor 3.04

Kumar, S., Quaglino, F., Siampour, M., Casati, P., and Bianco, P.A. (2018). Diversity of phytoplasmas associated with Almond Witches’-Broom disease in the Middle East. Poster presented at ADNAT Silver Jubilee Convention & International Symposium on Biodiversity and Biobanking (Biodiverse 2018), Guwahati, Assam, India.

Present position

Going to submit thesis for M.Sc degree in Agricultural Biotechnology

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