History and current status of phytoplasma diseases in the middle east

Chamran Hemmati, Mehrnoosh Nikooei, Ali M. Al‐subhi, Abdullah M. Al‐sadi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Phytoplasmas that are associated with fruit crops, vegetables, cereal and oilseed crops, trees, ornamental, and weeds are increasing at an alarming rate in the Middle East. Up to now, fourteen 16Sr groups of phytoplasma have been identified in association with more than 164 plant species in this region. Peanut witches’ broom phytoplasma strains (16SrII) are the prevalent group, especially in the south of Iran and Gulf states, and have been found to be associated with 81 host plant species. In addition, phytoplasmas belonging to the 16SrVI, 16SrIX, and 16SrXII groups have been frequently reported from a wide range of crops. On the other hand, phytoplasmas belonging to 16SrIV, 16SrV, 16SrX, 16SrXI, 16SrXIV, and 16SrXXIX groups have limited geographical distribution and host range. Twenty‐two insect vectors have been reported as putative phytoplasma vectors in the Middle East, of which Orosius albicinctus can transmit diverse phytoplasma strains. Almond witches’ broom, tomato big bud, lime witches’ broom, and alfalfa witches’ broom are known as the most destructive diseases. The review summarizes phytoplasma diseases in the Middle East, with specific emphasis on the occurrence, host range, and transmission of the most common phyto-plasma groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number226
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2021


  • 16SrII phytoplasma group
  • Insect vectors
  • Middle East
  • Phytoplasma diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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