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First report of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium' on almond in Southern Italy.

Nigro, F. ; Sion, V. ; Antelmi, I. ; Choueiri, E. ; Habib, W. ; Bruno, A. ; Boscia, D.

Plant Disease 2020 Vol 104 No. 1 pp. 278-278;


In spring 2017, phytoplasma suspected symptoms were reported on 25% of 15-year-old almond (Prunus dulcis) plants, cvs. Filippo Ceo and Genco grafted onto GF677, in a commercial orchard located at Grottaglie, Apulia, Italy. Among the symptoms, development of many axillary buds with small and yellowish leaves, and witches' brooms developing from the trunk, were the most frequent, followed by leaf rosetting, proliferation of slender shoots, tree decline, and dieback. The causal pathogen was isolated and identified as Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium based on molecular analysis. The obtained sequences were deposited in GenBank as accession numbers MK377252 and MK377253 for 16S rDNA, and MK387076 and MK387077 for groEL gene. This is thought to be the first report of Ca. P. phoenicium on almond in Italy.