EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 04 - 2005 Num. article: 2005/060

Phytoplasma classification

Firrao et al. (2004) have summarized in a useful table the new names which have been proposed for phytoplasmas in the genus ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’. This new genus now comprises 26 species (the ones in square brackets still need to be validly described).

Candidatus Phytoplasma species’
Phylogenetic group*
Associated disease
Ca. Phytoplasma asteris’
Aster Yellows group (16SrI)
Aster yellows
Ca. Phytoplasma japonicum’
Aster Yellows group (16SrI)
Japanese Hydrangea phyllody
Ca. Phytoplasma aurantifolia’
Peanut Witches’ Broom group (16SrII)
Lime witches’ broom
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma pruni’]
X-disease group (16SrIII)
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma palmae’]
Coconut Lethal Yellowing group (16SrIV)
Coconut lethal yellowing (Mexico)
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma cocostanzaniae’]
Coconut Lethal Yellowing group (16SrIV)
Coconut lethal yellowing (Tanzania)
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma cocosnigeriae’]
Coconut Lethal Yellowing group (16SrIV)
Coconut lethal yellowing (Nigeria)
Ca. Phytoplasma castaneae’
Coconut Lethal Yellowing group (16SrIV)
Korea chestnut witches’ broom
Ca. Phytoplasma ziziphi’
Elm Yellows group (16SrV)
Ziziphus jujube witches’ broom
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma vitis’]
Elm Yellows group (16SrV)
Flavescence dorée
Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi’
Elm Yellows group (16SrV)
Elm yellows
Ca. Phytoplasma trifolii’
Clover Proliferation group (16SrVI)
Clover proliferation
Ca. Phytoplasma fraxini’
Ash Yellows group (16SrVII)
Ash yellows
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma luffae’]
Loofah Witches’ Broom group (16SrVIII)
Loofah witches’ broom
Ca. Phytoplasma phoenicium’
Pigeon Pea Witches’ Broom group (16SrIX)
Almond lethal disease
Ca. Phytoplasma mali’
Apple Proliferation group (16SrX)
Apple proliferation
Ca. Phytoplasma pyri’
Apple Proliferation group (16SrX)
Pear decline
Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum’
Apple Proliferation group (16SrX)
European stone fruit yellows
Ca. Phytoplasma spartii’
Apple Proliferation group (16SrX)
Spartium witches’ broom
Ca. Phytoplasma rhamni’
Apple Proliferation group (16SrX)
Buckthorn witches’ broom
Ca. Phytoplasma allocasuarinae’
Apple Proliferation group (16SrX)
Allocasuarina yellows
Ca. Phytoplasma oryzae’
Rice Yellow Dwarf group (16SrXI)
Rice yellow dwarf
Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’
Stolbur group (16SrXII)
Australian grapevine yellows
[‘Ca. Phytoplasma solani’]
Stolbur group (16SrXII)
Stolbur and Bois Noir
Ca. Phytoplasma cynodontis’
Bermuda grass white leaf group (16SrXIV)
Bermuda grass white leaf
Ca. Phytoplasma brasiliense’
Ca. P. brasiliense’ group (16SrXV)
Brazilian hibiscus witches’ broom

Phylogenetic group according to: Lee IM, Gundersen-Rindal DE, Davis RE & Bartoszyk IM (1998) Revised classification scheme of phytoplasmas based on RFLP analyses of 16S rRNA and ribosomal protein gene sequences. International Journal of Systematic bacteriology 48, 1153-1169.


Firrao G, Marcone C, Bertaccini A (2004) Phytoplasma classification. Abstract of a paper presented at the 11th SIPaV Annual Meeting (Milano, IT, 2004-09-29/10-01). Journal of Plant Pathology 86(4), p 299.