EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 2007 Num. article: 2007/030

Possible transovarial transmission of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’ by Cacopsylla pruni

The possible transovarial transmission of two phytoplasmas, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’ (associated with European stone fruit yellows) and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ (Apple proliferation - EPPO A2 List) by their respective psyllid vectors Cacopsylla pruni and C. melanoneura, was investigated in Italy. Results showed that C. pruni could transmit ‘Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum’ transovarially, as it could be detected in the progeny of infected females (i.e. eggs, nymphs and newly emerged adults). It was also showed that psyllids which had acquired the phytoplasma transovarially could then transmit it by feeding on a healthy plum seedling. Transovarial transmission could not be demonstrated with ‘Ca. Phytoplasma mali’ in the experimental design used. Although further studies are needed, these first results open new perspectives on the study of the epidemiology of European stone fruit yellows. The fact that the insect is not only a vector but also a reservoir for the phytoplasma has implications for disease management.


Tedeschi R, Ferrato V, Rossi J, Alma A (2006) Possible phytoplasma transovarial transmission in the psyllids Cacopsylla melanoneura and Cacopsylla pruni. Plant Pathology 55(1), 18-24.