A few sequence polymorphisms among isolates of Maize bushy stunt phytoplasma associate with organ proliferation symptoms of infected maize plants.
Maize bushy stunt phytoplasma (MBSP) is a bacterial pathogen of maize ( Zea mays L.) across Latin America. MBSP belongs to the 16SrI-B sub-group within the genus ' Candidatus Phytoplasma'. MBSP and its insect vector Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) are restricted to maize; both are thought to have coevolved with maize during its domestication from a teosinte-like ancestor. MBSP-infected maize plants show a diversity of symptoms. and it is likely that MBSP is under strong selection for increased virulence and insect transmission on maize hybrids that are widely grown in Brazil. In this study it was investigated whether the differences in genome sequences of MBSP isolates from two maize-growing regions in South-east Brazil explain variations in symptom severity of the MBSP isolates on various maize genotypes.