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Phytoplasma Casts a Magic Spell that Turns the Fair Poinsettia into a Christmas Showpiece

Ing-Ming Lee

14 September 2000


The poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild, is a tropical plant indigenous to Mesoamerica and tropical Mexico. The subtle interactions between a phytoplasma and poinsettia result in dwarfing and moderate branching growth habits, which happen to be traits that poinsettia growers desire. Technically, free-branching is a disease symptom in poinsettias, but the poinsettia phytoplasma is beneficial to growers.


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