Elm witches' broom phytoplasma detected in southern Italy
In Basilicata (Southern Italy), diseased elms (U. carpinifolia) have been observed. They showed symptoms of yellowing, leaf epinasty, little leaf, stunting, premature casting of leaves and pronounced witches' brooms. Phytoplasmas have consistently been found in such trees. Though, phytoplasmas have previously been reported in Northern and Central Italy, this is the first report on detection of phytoplasmas in elms in Southern Italy. So far, some studies have indicated that elm witches' broom phytoplasmas found in Italy were genetically related with elm phloem necrosis phytoplasma (EPPO A1 quarantine pest) found in United States (EPPO RS 94/065 and 95/109). In addition, the authors pointed out that in the same area (Agri valley) where diseased elms were found, many declining alder trees (Alnus sp.) affected by phytoplasmas have also been observed (EPPO RS 95/107).
Marcone, C.; Ragozzino, A. Firrao, G.; Locci, R. (1994) Detection of elm witches' broom agent in Basilicata, Southern Italy.
Phytopathologia mediterranea, 33 (3), 194-199.