As the causal agent of the grapevine yellows disease Bois noir, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani' has a major economic impact on grapevines. To improve the control of Bois noir, it is critical to understand the very complex epidemiological cycles that involve the multiple “Ca. P. solani” host plants and insect vectors, of which Hyalesthes obsoletus is the most important. In the present study, multiple genotyping of the tuf, secY, stamp, and vmp1 genes was performed. This involved archived grapevine samples that were collected during an official survey of grapevine yellows throughout the wine-growing regions of Slovenia (from 2003 to 2016), plus samples from Austrian grapevines, stinging nettle, field bindweed, and insect samples (collected from 2012 to 2019). The data show that the tuf-b2 type of the tuf gene has been present in eastern Slovenia since at least 2003. The hypotheses that the occurrence of the haplotypes varies due to the geographical position of Slovenia on the Italian–Slovenian Karst divide and that the haplotypes are similar between Slovenian and Austrian Styria were confirmed. The data also show haplotype changes for host plants and H. obsoletus associated with ‘Ca. P. solani,' which might be linked to new epidemiological cycles of this phytoplasma that involve not just new plant sources and new insect vectors, but also climate and land-use changes.
Phytoplasmas of the 16SrIII group are wide spread, and have a broad plant host range. Among these, ‘Candidatus phytoplasma pruni’ (‘Ca. P. pruni’; phytoplasmas of 16SrIII subgroup A) can cause serious diseases in Prunus species and ‘Ca. P. pruni’-related strains can infect other plant species, including grapevines. In this study, a new real-time PCR detection system was developed for ‘Ca. P. pruni’ using TaqMan chemistry. This test was designed to detect ‘Ca. P. pruni’, by amplifying the species-specific secY gene. In addition, a test to amplify the group-specific 16S rRNA gene region was also developed. The performances of both tests were evaluated. The test that amplifies the secY gene provided reliable and quick detection of ‘Ca. P. pruni’. Using the newly developed and validated test, ‘Ca. P. pruni’ was not found in any of the 434 field samples collected from different plants species grown in different regions of Slovenia.