Category Archives: Phytoplasmas

Lethal yellowing of palm phytoplasma | CANDIDATUS PHYTOPLASMA PALMAE

California Pest Rating Proposal for

Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae (Lethal yellowing of palm phytoplasma)
[syn. Coconut lethal yellowing pathogen (Nutman & Roberts, 1955)]
Current Rating: A
Proposed Rating: A

Comment Period: 6/6/2019 through 7/21/2019


Author/Responsible Party:

Dr. Heather J. Scheck, Primary State Plant Pathologist/Nematologist, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 204 West Oak Ave, Lompoc, CA 805-736-8050 email: plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.

*NOTE:

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment. If you have registered and have not received the registration confirmation, please contact us at plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.

Comment Format:

Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

EXAMPLE COMMENT:
Consequences of Introduction: 1. Climate/Host Interaction:
[Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

Comments may not be posted if they:

  • Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the
    pest rating proposal;
  • Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene,
    pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive,
    discriminatory or illegal material;
  • Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or
    other forms of discrimination;
  • Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence,
    including threats.

Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Proposed Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls

Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni

California Pest Rating for
Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni
(= Peach X-disease, Peach Rosette, Peach Red Suture, and Little Peach Phytoplasmas)
Pest Rating: C

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event: 

CDFA regulations require imported peach nursery stock to be certified free from Peach Rosette, Peach Yellows, Little Peach and Red Suture Diseases.  These diseases are caused by phytoplasmas which are named accordingly.  Presently, all four phytoplasmas are A-rated pathogens in California.  However, research has shown that these phytoplasmas are actually strains of Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni.  Therefore, the status of the four phytoplasmas and their current rating in California are reviewed herein and a new permanent rating is proposed.

History & Status:

Background:  In 1933, a disease of peach was discovered in Connecticut and called the “X-disease of Peach” because of its unknown cause and mysterious nature.  For several years following its discovery, X-disease was believed to be caused by a virus that was mainly vectored by insects from nearby forests to peach orchards and seldom passed from tree to tree in the eastern USA.  Wild chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), growing in forests, was found to be an important natural host of the pathogen.  By the early 1950s, X-disease was also discovered in several US north eastern states and western states, including California, as well as in Canada (Stoddard, et al., 1951).   Subsequently, based on slightly different symptoms, two forms of peach X-disease were initially distinguished in the USA, namely, eastern X-disease and western X-disease, however, based on serological, nucleic acid and graft-transmission studies the eastern and western forms were found to be similar and recognized as strains of the pathogen. The pathogen was soon discovered to be widely distributed in fruit trees in the USA and can be transmitted by species of leafhopper.  X-disease is now known to be caused by a phytoplasma (formerly, mycoplasma-like organism or MLO).  In Eastern USA, peach rosette, peach yellows (also called little peach) and peach red suture were associated with the presence of peach X-disease phytoplasma.  Cherry albino disease, once found in the Rogue River Valley of Oregon in 1937 but now no longer found, was suspected to be caused by a strain of peach X-disease phytoplasma.  In California, Cherry buckskin disease on cherry had been known since the early 1920s and later the pathogen that caused this disease was also discovered to cause lethal decline disease of peach or “lethal casting yellows’.  Both diseases were later considered to be caused by strains of peach X-disease. Also in California, peach yellow leaf roll disease is caused by several genetically unrelated phytoplasmas of which only one is similar to, and a strain of peach X-disease phytoplasma (CABI, 2016; Davis et al., 2013; Kirkpatrick, 1995; Larson & Waterworth, 1995; 1995 Kirkpatrick et al., 1995).

Based on gene analysis, namely, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, strains of peach X-disease phytoplasma from eastern and western USA and eastern Canada were classified in phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene RFLP group 16 SrIII, subgroup A.  Davis et al., (2013) found gene sequences of peach X-disease phytoplasma strains to be distinct from other previously described Candidatus Phytoplasma species and therefore, formally described Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni (Ca. Phytoplasma pruni) as a new species group or taxon of phytoplasma associated with X-disease of stone fruits to include geographically diverse X-disease phytoplasma strains that shared similar nucleotide sequence (16S rRNA gene sequences) alignments.  These strains include X-disease phytoplasma (cause of peach yellows disease), peach rosette, peach red suture, and little peach phytoplasmas.

Hosts: Peach (Prunus persica) is the principal host of the pathogen.  Other hosts include species of the genus Prunus, including, cherry (P. avium and P. cerasus), Japanese plum (P. salicina), almond (P. dulcis), apricot (P. armeniaca), nectarine (P. persica var. nectarine), Chinese bushcherry (P. japonica), Bessey cherry (P. besseyi), wild American plum (P. americana), wildgoose plum (P. munsoniana) and European plum (P. domestica). Common chokecherry (P. virginiana) is a wild host species that serves as an important natural reservoir of peach X-disease phytoplasma in many states of USA.  Bur clover (Medicago polymorpha) is also a wild host of the pathogen.  Also, switch sorrel (Dodonaea viscosa) and lucerne (Medicago sativa) (CABI, 2016; EPPO, 2014; Davis et al., 2013; Douglas, 1986; Stoddard et al., 1951).

Symptoms: Symptoms of X-disease on peach (Ca. Phytoplasma pruni) include: tattered, shot-holed leaves, chlorosis, loss of severely affected leaves leaving a cluster of leaves at the terminal tips of shoots (rosettes), dieback of branches and death of trees (Davis, et al., 2013; Douglas, 1986; Stoddard, et al., 1951).  Younger peach trees die within 1-3 years after the first appearance of symptoms.  The first symptoms of X-disease in peach on leaves of some or all branches appear as reddish purple spots which later die and fall out (shot-holes). The leaves turn reddish and curl upwards.  Older trees may survive longer but bear little or no fruit.  Fruit usually shrivel and drop, but those remaining on the trees ripen prematurely, have an off-taste and are not marketable. No seeds develop in infected fruit.  The phytoplasma can be irregularly distributed in the trees therefore fruit on healthy-appearing parts of a tree do not show signs of disease (Agrios, 2005; CABI, 2014).  Infected cherry trees on resistant Prunus mahaleb rootstock die rapidly due to hypersensitive reaction that occurs at the graft union. Other rootstocks die slower (Kirkpatrick et al., 1995).

Damage Potential:  Peach X-disease is one of the most important diseases of peach.  Infected trees become commercially useless in 2-4 years (Agrios, 2005). The degree of damage depends on the strain of the pathogen and development stage of the infected host.  Also, it can cause serious losses to cherry production.

Transmission: The pathogen is transmitted by several species of leafhopper, including Colladonas clitellarius, C. montanus, C. geminatus, Euscelidius variegates, Fieberiella florii, Graphocephala confluens, Gyponana lamina, Keonella confluens, Norvellina seminude, Osbornellus borealis, Paraphlepsius irroratus, and Scaphytopius delongi (S. acutus) (CABI, 2014; Davis, et al., 2013).  The leafhopper vectors overwinter on herbaceous weeds that act as reservoir of the pathogen in orchards, and infect trees in spring and summer. The latency period, or the time between when a vector acquires the pathogen while feeding on an infected host and when the vector is able to inoculate the pathogen into a non-infected, susceptible host, is 22-35 days for Colladonas geminatus and 45 days for Scaphytopius delongi (S. acutus) (CABI, 2016).

The pathogen is also transmitted over long distances through infected plant materials that were propagated by budding and grafting of infected plant material.  Infected plant parts at risk of spreading the phytoplasma include all plant parts with the exception of fruit (CABI, 2016).

Worldwide Distribution: Asia: India (EPPO, 2016); North America: Canada, USA (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia) (CABI, 2016; EPPO, 2016; Thakur et al., 1998).

Official Control: Currently, the listed diseases and strains of Ca. Phytoplasma pruni are on the ‘Harmful Organism Lists’ for the respective countries.  Peach X-disease phytoplasma: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, and Turkey; Peach X-disease mycoplasma: European Union, Holy See (Vatican City State), Monaco, San Marino, and Serbia; Peach X phytoplasma: Israel and Japan; Peach rosette mycoplasma: European Union, Holy See (Vatican City State), Monaco, San Marino, and Serbia; Peach rosette phytoplasma: Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Paraguay, and Turkey; Peach yellow MLO: Mexico; Peach yellows mycoplasma: European Union, Holy See (Vatican City State), Madagascar, Monaco, San Marino, Serbia, and Ukraine; Peach yellows phytoplasma: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Paraguay, Peru, and Turkey (PCIT, 2016).

Ca. Phytoplasma pruni is an EPPO A1 quarantine pest.  It is a quarantine pest in Israel, and Norway (EPPO, 2016).

Currently, diseases and strains of Ca. Phytoplasma pruni, namely, X-disease phytoplasma causing cherry buckskin, cherry albino and peach western X diseases are already present in California and rated ‘C’, while peach red suture, peach rosette, little peach and X-disease (causing peach yellows disease) phytoplasmas are quarantine pathogens rated ‘A’.

California Distribution:  Western X-disease phytoplasma (now, Ca. Phytoplasma pruni) is generally distributed throughout California and has been detected on plum, cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, almond and celery (California Plant Disease Host Index by French, A. 1989, Updated 2014).

California InterceptionsThe risk Ca. Phytoplasma pruni would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California:

Score: 3

– Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

– Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

Risk is High (3) – Strains of Ca. Phytoplasma pruni are already established and widespread within California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Evaluate the host range of the pest:

Score: 1

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

– High (3) has a wide host range.

Risk is Low (1) The host range is limited to Prunus spp. of which peach (P. persicae) is the principal host.  Peach is a major stone fruit crop in California, cultivated in significant acreage throughout the State.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest:

Score: 3

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

Risk is High (3) – The pathogen is artificially transmitted mainly by a number of leafhopper species thereby marking it as having a high potential for increase and spread.  It is also spread in infected plant materials through grafting and budding operations.

4) Economic Impact: Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Score: 3

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

Risk is High (3) – Ca. Phytoplasma pruni has the potential to seriously damage peach (and stone fruit) production by lowering crop yield and value, requiring changes in cultural management practices to maintain disease free plants, trigger loss of markets possibly through further impositions of quarantines by importing countries and increase costs in production of clean crops.  The pathogen is vectored by many species of leafhopper.

5) Environmental Impact: Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below:

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Risk is Medium (2) – There is a medium impact to the environment expected. The pathogen is limited to Prunus spp. of which a few serve as wild hosts.  These wild hosts may also serve as reservoirs from which the vectors can acquire and transmit the pathogen to non-infected main hosts.  Home grown peach trees may be infected thereby requiring specific treatment measures.

Consequences of Introduction to California for X-disease phytoplasma:

Add up the total score and include it here. (Score)

-Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

-High = 13-15 points

Total points obtained on evaluation of consequences of introduction of X-disease phytoplasma to California = (12).

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included:

Score: 3

-Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

-Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

-Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Evaluation is High (3). 

Final Score:

7) The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: (Score)

Final Score:  Score of Consequences of Introduction – Score of Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information = 9.

Uncertainty:

Continued survey of stonefruit production for all strains of Ca. Phytoplasma pruni will lend more knowledge to the distribution of this pathogen in California.  This information can result in further lowering the overall score but will not lower the proposed C rating.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Based on the evidence provided above the proposed rating for Ca. Phytoplasma pruni (containing peach X-disease, peach rosette, peach red suture, and little peach strains) is C.

References:

Agrios, G. N.  2005.  Plant Pathology fifth edition.  Elsevier Academic Press, Massachusetts, USA.  922 p.

CABI.  2016.  Phytoplasma pruni (peach X-disease) full datasheet report.  Crop Protection Compendium.  www.cabi.org/cpc/ .

Davis, R. E., Y. Zhao, E. L. Dally, Ing-Ming Lee, R. Jomantiene and S. M. Douglas.  2013.  ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’, a novel taxon associated with X-disease of stone fruits, Prunus spp.: multilocus characterization based on 16S rRNA, secY, and ribosomal protein genes.  International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 63:766-776.

EPPO.  2016.  Phytoplasma pruni (PHYPPN).  European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization PQR database.  http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm .

Douglas, S. M.  1986.  Detection of mycoplasma-like organisms in peach and chokecherry with X-disease by fluorescence microscopy.  Phytopathology 76:784-787.

Kirkpatrick, B. C1995.  Diseases caused by mycoplasma-like organisms: Cherry Albino, Peach Rosette, Peach Yellows.  In Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases.  Edited by J. M. Ogawa, E. I. Zehr, G. W. Bird, D. F. Ritchie, K. Uriu and J. K. Uyemoto.  APS Press, The American Phytopathological Society, Minnesota, USA, pg. 55-59.

Kirkpatrick, B. C., J. K. Uyemoto and A. H. Purcell.   1995.  Diseases caused by mycoplasmalike organisms: X-Disease.  In Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases.  Edited by J. M. Ogawa, E. I. Zehr, G. W. Bird, D. F. Ritchie, K. Uriu and J. K. Uyemoto.  APS Press, The American Phytopathological Society, Minnesota, USA, pg. 57-59.

Larsen, H. J., and H. E. Waterworth.  1995.  Diseases caused by mycoplasmalike organisms: Peach Red Suture.  In Compendium of Stone Fruit Diseases.  Edited by J. M. Ogawa, E. I. Zehr, G. W. Bird, D. F. Ritchie, K. Uriu and J. K. Uyemoto.  APS Press, The American Phytopathological Society, Minnesota, USA, pg. 55-56.

PCIT.  2016.  USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System.  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/PExD/faces/ReportHarmOrgs.jsp .

Stoddard, E. M., E. M. Hildebrand, D. H. Palmiter and K. G. Parker.  1951.  X-disease.  In Virus Diseases and Other Disorders with Viruslike Symptoms of Stone Fruits in North America, United States Department of Agriculture Handbook, Washington: US Government Printing Office. 10:37-42.

Thakur, P. D., A. Handa, S. C. Chowfla, and G. Krczal.  1998.  Outbreak of a phytoplasma disease of peach in the northwestern Himalayas of India.  Acta Horticulturae, No. 472: 737-739.

Responsible Party:

John J. Chitambar, Primary Plant Pathologist/Nematologist, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832. Phone: 916-262-1110, plant.health@cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period: CLOSED

45-day comment period: Nov 30, 2016 – Jan 14, 2017


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment:
Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating: C


Posted by ls

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline Phytoplasma

California Pest Rating for
Texas Phoenix Palm Decline Phytoplasma
Pest Rating: A

 


PEST RATING PROFILE
Initiating Event:

During the month of February 2014, CDFA Plant Pathologist Dr. Cheryl Blomquist was notified by Dr. N. Harrison, Plant Pathologist, University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale of palm stem tissue samples he had received from a California private palm grower whose date palms had been dying for the past several years. Dr. Harrison analyzed the samples to be positive for the Texas Phoenix Palm Decline disease (TPPD). Dr. Blomquist followed through by contacting the private grower in Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County, CA to assess the palm disease situation at her site and with a request for CDFA to collect samples to send to the USDA diagnostic laboratory for testing. The grower obliged and further mentioned two other sites in Riverside County (one in Palm Desert: a mobile home community with a golf course; one date farm in Sky Valley) where she had noticed symptoms of palm decline similar to those observed in palm trees at her site (Blomquist, 2014). CDFA Plant Pathologist Magally Luque-Williams collected official samples from the locations at Desert Hot Springs (1date palm tree) and Palm Desert (2 queen palm trees). Those samples were submitted for analysis to the USDA CPHST Beltsville Laboratory, however, due to delayed shipping and poor quality of the received samples, the results were negative for TPPD. Subsequently, re-samples taken from the same locations (2 trees at each location) and resubmitted to the Beltsville Laboratory were also declared negative for TPPD. Palm trees at the date farm in Sky Valley were not officially sampled due to objection raised by the property owner. An assessment of the risk presented by TPPD in California is herein conducted to propose an official rating.

History & Status:

Background:  Texas Phoenix Palm Decline disease is caused by a phytoplasma which has been classified as a member of 16S rDNA RFLP group 16SrIV, subgroup D (16SrIV-D). The TPPD phytoplasma is related to, but genetically distinct from the phytoplasma that causes lethal yellowing in palms. It was originally identified in 2001 on Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island date palm) grown in the southern coastal region of Texas, hence the name of the disease. Texas Phoenix Palm Decline has only been reported from the USA, specifically from Texas, Florida and most recently from Louisiana (LSU AgCenter, 2014).

Hosts: Currently, susceptible hosts for the TPPD phytoplasma are Phoenix dactylifera (date palm), P. canariensis (Canary Island date palm), P. sylvestris (silver or Sylvester date palm), P. reclinata (Senegal/wild date palm), Sabal palmetto (cabbage/sabal palm), and Syagrus romanzoffiano (queen palm).

Symptoms: TPPD chronologically progresses through a series of symptoms so that no single symptom is diagnostic of the disease. The first obvious symptom on mature palms is premature drop of most or all fruits over a period of a few days and not over a prolonged period of time. Inflorescence necrosis follows fruit drop. However, fruit drop and inflorescence necrosis only occurs if the palm is mature enough to produce fruit, it is the season for flowering and fruiting, and the flowers or fruits have not been trimmed from the plants. The next symptom is the discoloration of foliage beginning with the oldest leaves and beginning at leaf tips. Instead of turning yellow or only turning yellow for a brief period, the leaves turn varying shades of reddish-brown to dark brown or gray. Unless monitored carefully, leaf discoloration may often be confused with natural senescence or senescence caused by nutritional deficiency, Lethal yellowing (phytoplasma disease) or Gandoderma butt rot (fungal disease causing dry rot within trunks of palms). However, with TPPD, there are a greater number of dead older leaves than normal for natural senescence. This symptom may easily be overlooked if dying or dead leaves are regularly removed from diseased trees. The death of the spear leaf is the next symptom. This may occur in Phoenix species when less than one-third or one-quarter of the oldest leaves have discolored and turned necrotic, and in cabbage palms when about two-thirds of the oldest leaves have discolored. Death of the spear leaf means death of the apical meristem. Once that happens, no new leaves will develop and the remaining leaves from the oldest to the youngest will continue to discolor and die. Death of the spear leaf is not always obvious and unless it is dead, hanging from the canopy, or on the ground, it will require close examination to determine if it is healthy or not. Sometimes, by the time spear leaf dies, mature palm roots at or near the soil surface are soft in texture and easily broken. The rooting root system enables such plants to be easily rocked back and forth in the ground (Harrison & Elliott, 2009).

The TPPD phytoplasma is usually not detectable in palms that are not showing symptoms and may not be detectable until the spear leaf dies (Harrison & Elliott, 2009)

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline is a fatal disease. The phytoplasma colonizes the phloem (vascular) tissue so that it spread systemically and quickly kills palms.

Transmission: The TPPD phytoplasma is spread naturally by piercing-sucking, insects, feeding on phloem sap. The species of the insect vector is not known, however, plant hoppers, psyllids or treehoppers are the most-likely groups of insects to transmit the TPPD phytoplasma. The phytolasma is spread from plant to plant through the feeding activities of these insects and does not survive outside their plant or insect host. Also, TPPD is spread through human activity which causes the movement of vector and infected hosts.

Worldwide Distribution: Texas Phoenix Palm Decline disease has only been reported from the USA. Within the USA, it has been reported from Texas, Florida and Louisiana.

Official Control: Texas established quarantine regions and imposed the “Texas Date Palm Lethal Decline Quarantine” requiring phytosanitary certification of imported palms from the state of Florida. (Under the Texas Lethal Yellowing quarantine date palm- another existing quarantine for palm trees – Phoenix dactylifera; Canary Island date palm, Phoenix canariensis; and silver date palm, Phoenix sylvestris are prohibited entry from Florida, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Territory of Guam.)

California Distribution: Texas Phoenix Palm Decline Phytoplasma was not detected in official samples collected in Riverside County (see ‘Initiating event’) and therefore, there is no official record of the presence of TPPD within California. Nevertheless, as also detailed above in ‘Initiating event”, the detection of TPPD in a non-official sample initially analyzed by Dr. Harrison (University of Florida), suggests the presence of TPPD in diseased date palms cultivated by a private owner. Further investigation of several trees will be necessary to establish this as fact.

California Interceptions: There have been no interceptions of TPPD in California.

The risk Texas Phoenix Palm Decline phytoplasma would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California. Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.
Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.
High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

Risk is High (3) – TPPD is likely to establish wherever date palms are grown in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.
– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.
– High (3) has a wide host range.

Risk is Medium (2) – Thus far, susceptible hosts of TPPD include date, cabbage and queen palms – although these hosts are widely grown mainly in Southern California.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.
– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.
– High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

Risk is High (3) – Although the exact species of the vector is not known, the group of leafhoppers, treehoppers or psyllids as possible vectors of the TPPD phytoplasma render the TPPD phytoplasma a relatively high potential for increase and dispersal to non-infected sites.

4) Economic Impact: Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.
B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).
C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).
D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.
E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.
F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.
G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.
– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.
– High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

Risk is High (3) – TPPD phytoplasma kills palms thereby, causing losses in date fruit yields, increases in crop production, loss of date fruit and ornamental palm markets, impositions of necessary quarantines, plus the phytoplasma is vectored by sap-sucking insects.

5) Environmental Impact: Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.
B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.
C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.
D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.
E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.
– Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.
– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Risk is High (3) – Palms infected by the TPPD phytoplasma could trigger additional official and private treatment programs, impact cultural practices, home/urban gardening and ornamental plantings and disrupt natural communities of palm growth in California.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Texas Phoenix Palm Decline:

Add up the total score and include it here. (Score)

– Low = 5-8 points
– Medium = 9-12 points
– High = 13-15 points

Total points obtained on evaluation of consequences of introduction of Texas Phoenix Palm Decline phytoplasma to California = (14).

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included. (Score)

– Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.
– Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).
– Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.
– High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Evaluation is (-0). TPPD phytoplasma has never been officially detected in California.

Final Score:

7) The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: (Score)

Final Score: Score of Consequences of Introduction – Score of Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information = 14.

Uncertainty:

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline Phytoplasma has not been officially detected in California. Only a few trees were sampled from the suggested sites (see ‘Initiating event’). To fully establish the possible presence and distribution of the pathogen, more complete and timely surveys of several symptomatic palm trees from those and possibly other sites would be necessary. Also not known is the specific identity of the insect vector involved. Leafhoppers are considered the most likely vector, however, their distribution, host preferences and other aspects of biology would directly impact the current knowledge of the TPPD phyoplasma.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Based on the evidence provided above the proposed rating for Texas Phoenix Palm Decline is A.

References:

Blomquist, C. 2014. Emails to and from (private grower) dated February 12-13, 2014.

Harrison, N.A. and M.L. Elliott. 2007. Texas Phoenix palm decline. University of Florida, IFAS.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PP163.
http://www.pest-control-tampa.com/pest-news/081219_TPD_EmergencyQuarantine.pdf

LSU AgCenter, 2014. http://www.lsuagcenter.com/news_archive/2014/January/headline_news/Fatal-palm-disease-detected-in-New-Orleans.htm

Symptoms of diseases and disorders – Fact sheet: Texas Phoenix Palm Decline http://itp.lucidcentral.org/id/palms/symptoms/Texas_Phoenix_Palm_Decline.htm
Texas Department of Agriculture. Date Palm Lethal Decline. http://www.texasagriculture.gov/RegulatoryPrograms/PlantQuality/PestandDiseaseAlerts/DatePalmLethalDecline.aspx

Responsible Party:

Dr. John J. Chitambar, Primary Plant Pathologist/Nematologist, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832. Phone: 916-262-1110, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on Monday, March 16, 2015 and closed on Thursday, April 30, 2015.


Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls