Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First report of two distinct phytoplasma species, 'Candidatus phytoplasma cynodontis' and 'Candidatus phytoplasma asteris,' simultaneously associated with yellow decline of Wodyetia bifurcata (foxtail palm) in Malaysia.

Abstract

The foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) is most commonly used in landscaping in Malaysia. Coconut yellow decline (CYD) is the major disease of coconut associated with 16SrXIV phytoplasma group in this country. Symptoms consistent with CYD, such as severe chlorosis, stunting, general decline, and death were observed in foxtail palms from the state of Selangor, indicating putative phytoplasma infection. Symptomatic trees loses their green and vivid appearance as a decorative and landscape ornament. To determine the presence of phytoplasma, samples were collected from the fronds of 12 symptomatic and four asymptomatic palms in September 2012, and total DNA was extracted. Both the 16S rDNA gene sequence and restriction fragment length polymorphism results indicated that symptoms in infected foxtail palms were associated with two distinct phytoplasma species in Malaysia: 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cynodontis' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris'. This is thought to be the first report of a mixed infection of a single host, W. bifurcata, by two different phytoplasma species in Malaysia.