First report of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ and ‘Ca. P. pyri’ in Belarus
A study on phytoplasmas of pome fruit was carried out in Belarus, as a number of pear trees showing early foliar reddening and premature defoliation had been observed. During autumn 2014 and spring 2015, root samples were collected from 27 apple (Malus domestica) and 58 pear (Pyrus communis) trees. Pear trees were growing in the collection orchard of the Institute for Fruit Growing (Samochvalovichi). Apple samples were collected from old trees growing in private orchards in the same area. Molecular tests (PCR, sequencing) showed that out of the 27 tested apple trees, 23 were found to be infected by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ (EPPO A2 List) and that out of the 58 tested pear trees, 46 were found to be infected by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’ (EPPO A2 List). These studies also revealed a high variability among phytoplasma strains, and the presence of several strains within the same tree. This is the first time that ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ and ‘Ca. P. pyri’ are reported from Belarus. It is noted that further studies would be needed to better understand the distribution of these phytoplasmas in Belarus and develop management strategies.
The situation of both Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ and ‘Ca. P. pyri’ in Belarus can be described as follows: Present, first recorded in 2014.
Valasevich N, Schneider B (2016) Detection, identification, and characterization of phytoplasmas infecting apple and pear trees in Belarus. Plant Disease 100(11), 2275-2280.