Potential role of Orientus ishidae in the "flavescence dorée" epidemics in Ticino, Switzerland.
The constant, even if low, presence of grapevine "flavescence dorée" (FD) in the vineyards of Ticino, Switzerland, challenged the stakeholders to investigate for other players involved in the FD dynamics. This study was aimed to explore the impact that the exotic leafhopper Orientus ishidae may have on FD epidemics in Ticino by monitoring its population density and level of infection with 16SrV group phytoplasmas. In 2018, 283 leafhoppers were collected from three FD infected areas, both from the vineyards and the surrounding landscape. Spatial density maps showed that the captures occurred mostly in the landscape, with a clear clustered distribution among the traps. Molecular analyses revealed a high infection percentage of O. ishidae samples in the three investigated plots, both inside and outside the vineyards.