noun phy·to·plas·ma \ˌfī-tə-ˈplaz-mə\

Definition of phytoplasma

  1. :  any of a group of bacteria that are related to mycoplasmas, cause plant diseases (such as aster yellows or elm yellows ) by infecting phloem tissue, and are transmitted especially by homopteran insect vectors Phytoplasmas are assigned temporary taxonomic names because they cannot yet be grown in artificial media as required in bacterial nomenclature for a fully valid name. For almost half a century, plant pathologists thought phytoplasmas were viruses. To this day, the inability to grow these bacteria outside plants or insects hinders efforts to get a handle on their biology and genomes. — Evelyn Strauss —called also mycoplasma-like organism

Origin and Etymology of phytoplasma

New Latin

First Known Use: 1994

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