Phytoplasma infecting grapevine in Liguria (Italy)
In Liguria (IT), in the Bisagno valley, a severe grapevine yellows disease with symptoms indistinguishable from grapevine flavescence dorée (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) has been observed over the past three years. Affected cultivars are Albarola, Bosco and Moscato Bianco. Young grapevines (2-3 years old) were killed, while older plants presented a reduction in yield up to 50 %. Previous studies carried out in this region on a similar disease had shown that phytoplasmas were associated with the diseased grapevines. Molecular studies, using PCR followed by RFLP analysis, have been carried out on symptomatic grapevines. Results confirmed the presence of phytoplasmas in diseased grapevines. They also showed that a double phytoplasma infection was probably involved, and that a phytoplasma belonging to the elm yellows group (to which grapevine flavescence dorée also belongs) and a phytoplasma belonging to the aster yellows group were present.
Bertaccini, A.; Vibio, M.; Stefani, E. (1995) Detection and molecular characterization of phytoplasmas infecting grapevine in Liguria (Italy).
Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 34 (2), 137-141.