European Journal of Plant Pathology (2009) 123, 301-310

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Rosemarie Tedeschi, Pavel Lauterer, Lorenzo Brusetti, Federica Tota and Alberto Alma (2009)
Composition, abundance and phytoplasma infection in the hawthorn psyllid fauna of northwestern Italy
European Journal of Plant Pathology 123 (3), 301-310
Abstract: Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is one of the natural hosts of Cacopsylla melanoneura, the acknowledged vector of `Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', the causal agent of Apple Proliferation disease, a serious and growing problem for apple production in Europe, particularly in northern Italy. Wild plants could be important sources of both insects and phytoplasmas, but their role in the epidemiology of phytoplasma diseases and their insect vectors has never been thoroughly examined. Cacopsylla melanoneura 's primary host is hawthorn, a plant closely related to apple which often grows wild near orchards. Other psyllid species feed on hawthorn, but no data are available on their possible role as phytoplasma vectors. We investigated the hawthorn's psyllid fauna in northwestern Italy using yellow sticky traps, beat trays, and molecular analyses from 2003-2005, to study the relationship between hawthorn, the phytoplasma and the insect vector. Population dynamics were monitored, and insects and hawthorn samples were analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and DNA sequencing for the presence of phytoplasmas. Cacopsylla melanoneura was the dominant psyllid species, followed by C. peregrina, C. affinis and C. crataegi. PCR and RFLP analyses revealed the presence of different fruit tree phytoplasmas in hawthorn plants, and in all four psyllid species.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Rosemarie Tedeschi, Alberto Alma

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
transmission/dispersal of plant diseases
population dynamics/ epidemiology

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Phytoplasma mali Apple (Malus) Italy
Cacopsylla peregrina Hawthorn (Crataegus) Italy
Cacopsylla melanoneura Apple (Malus) Italy
Cacopsylla melanoneura Hawthorn (Crataegus) Italy