Detection of European Fruit Tree Phytoplasmas and Their Insect Vectors in Important Fruit-Growing Regions in Bulgaria

1 AlPlanta-IPR, RLP AgroScience, D-67435 Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany
2 University of Forestry, Department of Plant Protection, 1756 - Sofia, Bulgaria


ETROPOLSKA, A., W. JARAUSCH, B. JARAUSCH AND G. TRENCHEV, 2015. Detection of European fruit tree phytoplasmas and their insect vectors in important fruit-growing regions in Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 21: 1248–1253

Apple proliferation (AP), caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’, European stone fruit yellows (ESFY), caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’ and Pear decline (PD) caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’ are one of the most important fruit tree diseases in Europe, but their distribution in Bulgaria is not well known. During 2010 – 2013, the presence and the spread of the fruit tree phytoplasmas and their vectors were investigated in one of the major fruit tree growing regions in Bulgaria. All psyllid species described as vectors of fruit tree phytoplasmas were present in the investigated areas. Phytoplasma infection in plant and psyllid samples was analyzed by universal and specific PCR. A total of 86 plant samples and 1569 insect samples obtained from 11 different sites were tested. As result, all three phytoplasmas were detected in their hosts and vectors in five different geographical regions of Bulgaria. This is the first report of ‘Ca. P. mali’ and ‘Ca. P. pyri’ in Sofia region as well as of ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ in Sofia and Kjustendil regions. This is also the first report of a ‘Ca. P. pyri’ detection in Cacopsylla bidens which might be a further vector of PD.

Key words: ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’, apple proliferation, European stone fruit yellows, pear decline, PCR detection, psyllid vectors

See the article as a PDF.