Etropolska, Aneliya

Publications (1)

First report of Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum, the European stone fruit yellows phytoplasma on peach trees on the territory of Canton of Geneva, Switzerland

Etropolska, Lefort (2019). International Journal of Phytopathology 8 (2)
Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum
In recent years, ‘Ca. P. prunorum’, the agent of ESFY was reported from several apricot orchards of Canton of Wallis, the main apricot production region in Switzerland (Genini and Ramel, 2004). The psyllid vector Cacopsylla pruni was also found in several locations in the Lake Geneva area (Ackermann et al., 2006). The presence of the disease and of its proven vector C. pruni at the eastern part of the Lake Geneva area, as well as the existing risk of dissemination of ESFY to other stone fruit orchards along the Lake Geneva are the reasons for which ESFY needs to be studied further. ESFY and its possible dissemination through C. pruni on the territory of Canton of Geneva, bordering France, has never been yet studied. In 2016, visual observations were conducted in several stone fruit orchards near Geneva. Plant material was obtained from peach trees, displaying some of the typical symptoms such premature leaf colouration, leaf-roll, tree decline (Sabaté et al., 2015), in the autumn, when the concentration of the phytoplasma in the upper parts of the trees is the highest. Phloem was prepared from branches and was extracted with a CTAB-based adapted protocol (Lefort and Douglas, 1999). PCR amplification of phytoplasma DNA was achieved with the universal primers: fP1/rP7 (Deng and Hiruki, 1991; Schneider et al., 1995). All positive samples were tested with the ESFY-specific non-ribosomal primers ECA1/ECA2 (Jarausch et al., 1998). Typical symptoms of ESFY, like premature leaf colouration, leaf yellowing with reddish edges,  leaf-roll, severe chlorosis, die-back of top branches and partial or, complete decline of the trees (Figure 1) were found in a peach orchard (GPS coordinates: 46°15'17.4"N 6°12'40.7"E) located in the area of Collonge-Bellerive, close to Geneva city. Ten trees were sampled in this orchard. The presence of ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ was confirmed in two of them (Figure 2 and Figure 3). At the beginning of spring 2017, the monitoring of the ESFY symptoms in the infested orchard was resumed. Early bud break was found on the two infected trees and the infection was confirmed again by PCR (Figure 4 and Figure 5). The same symptoms were observed in many trees of this orchard, which correlated with the previous autumn observations. Trapping confirmed the presence of the insect vector Cacopsylla pruni (Bodnár et al., 2018) in the infected area. In order to understand more about the origin and the diversity of ESFY phytoplasma in this area, additional plant and insect samples will be analyzed. The correlation between symptoms and infected plants will be studied further. We report here for the first time on the occurrence of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’ (‘Ca. P. prunorum’) the agent of ESFY on the territory of Canton of Geneva.