Phytoplasma palmae

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Lethal yellowing symptoms on coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: USDA Forest Service - Wikimedia Commons

Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae (strain 16SrIV-A) - (coconut lethal yellowing phytoplasma)

This pathogen causes a serious lethal disease of coconut palms and is found in Central America, including Florida, Mexico and a number of Caribbean islands. The symptoms include yellowing and necrosis of the fronds, premature shedding of the nuts and necrosis of newly emerging inflorescences without any new nuts developing. Coconut palms typically die 3-6 month after the appearance of the first symptoms. The phytoplasma is transmitted by the planthopper Haplaxius crudus.

The name 'Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae' has been given originally to strain 16SrIV-A, but has been sometimes also used for other strains of the 16SrIV phytoplasma group, like strain 16SrIV-D, which is here listed separately as Texas Phoenix palm decline. The disease caused by strain 16SrIV-A is often simply called "lethal yellowing" (LY). The strain 16SrIV-A can also infect the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) in Florida, see Harrison et al. (2008).

Vernacular names
• English: coconut lethal yellowing phytoplasma
• Español: amarillamiento letal del cocotero
• Français: pourriture du bourgeon terminal du cocotier