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Plant Dis. 2019 Oct;103(10):2512-2519. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-03-19-0633-RE. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

A Survey of Declining Palms (Arecaceae) With 16SrIV-D Phytoplasma to Evaluate the Distribution and Host Range in Florida.

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University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology - Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Davie, FL 33314-7719.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville 32614.
Professional Forester, Inc., Plant City, FL 33567-3406.
University of Florida, Department of Plant Pathology and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The 16SrIV-D phytoplasma was first identified in Florida in 2006. Since its discovery, it has spread throughout most of the state. It is most prevalent in the central part of Florida, from Hillsborough County on the west coast to St. Lucie County on the east coast. The 16SrIV-D phytoplasma is the causal agent of lethal bronzing disease (LBD), which is also known as Texas Phoenix palm decline (TPPD). It affects a variety of common and economically important ornamental palm species as well as the native and ecologically important species, Sabal palmetto. It has spread into the southern portions of Florida, where the palm species diversity is higher. The aims of this survey were to document the spread of disease in terms of geographic and host range one decade after its introduction into Florida, and to assess the risk that LBD poses to the nursery and landscaping industries. The survey included samples received from stakeholders throughout the state, covering 18 counties, as well as a systematic sampling of palms at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC), where the disease is spreading actively. The findings of this survey resulted in the detection of LBD in eight new counties, including Collier, Hernando, Jefferson, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Seminole, and St. Johns, and the expansion of LBD into four new host species, Cocos nucifera, Livistona chinensis, Butia capitata, and Carpentaria acuminata. These findings are crucial for stakeholders because they highlight new hosts of 16SrIV-D phytoplasma and the geographic expansion of the disease, indicating that vigilance is needed when surveying declining palms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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