Symptoms of fruit phyllody and slow growth, which are suggestive of phytoplasma infection, were observed in strawberry plants cultivated in commercial fields. In order to provide evidence of association of phytoplasma with affected plants, assays for detecting and identifying were performed through computer-simulated restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and phylogenetic analysis. Total DNA was extracted from symptomatic and asymptomatic samples and used as template in nested PCR primed by the primers P1/Tint followed by R16F2n/16R2. Amplified DNA fragments of 1.2 kb from the 16S rRNA gene revealed the presence of phytoplasma in all symptomatic samples. Molecular detection was confirmed by electron transmission microscopy, which evidenced pleomorphic bodies in the phloem vessels. Nucleotide sequence representative of the strawberry phytoplasma shared 97.2 to 99 % similarity with phytoplasmas currently classified as members of the distinct subgroups within the 16SrXIII group. Similarity coefficient (F) values ranged from 0.70 to 0.92, indicating that strawberry phytoplasma delineates a new strain in addition to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma hispanicum’-related strains. The evolutionary tree displayed that this strain emerges as a new branch in relation to those previously described. The novel strain, designated SFP (strawberry fruit phyllody) phytoplasma represents the new 16SrXIII-J subgroup and its sequence, denominated SFP-Br02, was deposited in the GenBank database (EU719108). These findings contribute for the knowledge of the genetic diversity existing among members of the group 16SrXIII and establishes strawberry as an additional host of representatives of this group in Brazil.