First report of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ in Belgium
Until recently, apple proliferation (associated with ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali – EPPO A2 List) was not considered to be present in Belgium. Symptomatic trees had sporadically been reported and found infected, but they were subsequently destroyed. A research project has recently been carried out to evaluate the possible presence of apple proliferation in Belgium, and for the first time included samples collected from asymptomatic trees. Root samples were collected on asymptomatic trees in both commercial and non-commercial apple orchards. These samples were then tested in the laboratory (real-time PCR assays). DNA extracts from psyllid vectors of apple proliferation were also tested. This study revealed the presence of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma mali’ in all locations where root or psyllid samples had been collected. The phytoplasma was detected in the provinces of Hainault, Liège, Limburg, Namur, Oost-Vlaandere, and Vlaams-Brabant.
The situation of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ in Belgium can be described as follows: Present, confirmed for the first time in 2011 and detected in the provinces of Hainault, Liège, Limburg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, and Vlaams-Brabant.
NPPO of Belgium (2011-06).