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Scientific classification
Division: Tenericutes
Class: Mollicutes
Order: Acholeplasmatales
Family: Acholeplasmataceae
Genus: Candidatus Phytoplasma

Phytoplasmas are a type of parasitic bacteria. They are pathogens of economically important plants, including coconut, sugarcane, and sandalwood.

They are obligate parasites of plant phloem tissue.[1] Their vectors are insects which inject then into the plant cells. They were discovered by scientists in 1967 and were named mycoplasma-like organisms or MLOs.[2] They cannot be grown in vitro (in laboratory conditions), and that limits the information about them. They are described by the special term "Candidatus", reserved for such difficult organisms.

References[change | change source]

  1. 'Obligate' means they cannot live except as parasites.
  2. Doi, Y; Teranaka M, Yora, K and Asuyama, H (1967). "Mycoplasma or PLT-group-like organisms found in the phloem elements of plants infected with mulberry dwarf, potato witches' broom, aster yellows or paulownia witches' broom". Annals of the Phytopathological Society of Japan 33 (4): 259–266. doi:10.3186/jjphytopath.33.259.