Five decades of research on phytoplasma-induced witches' broom diseases

Chamran Hemmati, Mehrnoosh Nikooei, Abdullah Mohammed Al-Sadi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Phytoplasmas, prokaryotic wall-less microorganisms, are important pathogens of several plant species in most parts of the world. Phytoplasmas have been reported associated with various symptoms on hundreds of plant species. Witches' broom disease (WBD) is one of the most common disease symptoms, which is caused by phytoplasma strains belonging to different phytoplasma groups. Symptoms of the disease differ from one host to the other as well as from one phytoplasma strain to the other. However, WBD symptoms are usually characterized by the production of a large number of small leaves, accompanied in some host plants by the production of several branches/shoots. Phytoplasma strains belonging to more than 13 groups and 39 subgroups have been reported associated with WBD in more than 116 plant species. Most of the phytoplasma strains causing WBD symptoms in plant species belong to the 16SrII and 16SrI groups, mainly 16SrII-D and 16SrI-B subgroups.The current review provides information on the different types of phytoplasma strains associated with WBD symptoms in ornamental plants, medicinal plants, forest trees, weeds, vegetable crops, field crops, and fruit trees. Emphasis is on WBD on acid limes, almonds, peanuts, jujube, and cassava that have resulted in significant economic losses in different countries. Description of the symptoms, phytoplasma groups, and management options is also provided for some of the diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number002
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • 16SrRNA
  • Classification
  • MLO
  • WBD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


Dive into the research topics of 'Five decades of research on phytoplasma-induced witches' broom diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this