Decline diseases of Prunus in Europe are now considered as due to European stone fruit yellows phytoplasma
Decline diseases in apricot and Japanese plum which were first observed in France and Italy at the beginning of this century, were given the names apricot chlorotic leaf roll phytoplasma (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) and plum leptonecrosis or plum decline. Both diseases are among the most important infectious disorders of apricot and plum and the predominant causes of decline and death of productive trees. Apart from an isolated and unconfirmed report in South Africa, apricot chlorotic leaf roll is apparently only present in Europe, in the following countries: France (throughout the areas of apricot cultivation), Greece, Italy (especially in Emilia-Romagna and Campania), Hungary*, Romania, Spain (especially in Valencia province), Switzerland and former Yugoslavia.The disease has been found in the past in Cyprus but did not establish. Plum leptonecrosis seems to be present in all European countries where Japanese plum is grown.
Recently, similar symptoms have been observed in almond and peach in Germany and Spain. These decline diseases of almond, apricot, peach and plum are now attributed to European stone fruit yellows phytoplasma. The author noted that European stone fruit yellows is therefore known to occur in all Mediterranean countries and as far north as Germany.
* new record according to the EPPO Secretariat.
Seemüller, E. (1995) European Stone Fruit Yellows. In: Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases, APS, St Paul (USA).