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'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense' R.E. Davis et al.
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First report of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense' infecting potato


Name: 'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense' R.E. Davis et al.

Taxonomic Position:

Bacteria : Firmicutes : Mollicutes : Acholeplasmatales : Acholeplasmataceae


'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense' is causing commercial potato (Solanum tuberosum) crops in New Zealand to exhibit symptoms similar to those of zebra chip. Symptoms include upward rolling and purpling of the leaves (Liefting et al., 2009). Present in Australia and New Zealand (Liefting et al., 2009), with additional reports from Bolivia (Jones et al., 2005), and Israel (Gera et al., 2005), this is the first report of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’ affecting potatoes (Liefting et al., 2009). The impact that this infection will have on commercial production of potatoes is unclear at this time.


Reported hosts of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’ include: Carica papaya (papaw), Cicer arietinum (chickpea), Coprosma robusta, Cordyline australis (cabbage tree), Cucumis myrtocarpus (paddy melon), Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin), Fragaria ananassa (strawberry), Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum), Paulownia fortunei (paulownia), Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean), Phormium cookianum, Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax), Prunus persicae (peach), Rubus loganobaccus (loganberry), Solanum tuberosum (potato), Trifolium pratense (red clover), Vitis vinifera (grapevine), (Beever et al., 2004; CABI, 2007; Habili et al., 2006; Jones et al., 2005; Liefting et al., 2009; Saqib et al., 2006)



Beever, R. E., G. A. Wood, M. T. Andersen, S. R. Pennycook, P. W. Sutherland, and R. L. S. Forster. 2004. “Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense” in Coprosma robusta in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42:663–675.

CABI. 2007. Crop Protection Compendium. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI), Wallingford, UK.

Gera, A., M. Mawassi, M. Zeidan, S. Spiegel, and M. Bar-Joseph. 2005. An isolate of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense' group associated with Nivun-Haamir-Die Back disease of papaya in Israel. New Disease Reports 11. Accessed August 14, 2009:

Habili, N., N. Farrokhi, and J. W. Randles. 2006. First detection of Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense in Liquidambar styraciflua in Australia. New Disease Reports 14. Accessed August 14, 2009:

Jones, P., Y. Arocha, O. Antesana, E. Montilliano, and P. Franco. 2005. First report of an isolate of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense' associated with a yellow leaf roll disease of peach (Prunus persicae) in Bolivia. New Disease Reports 11. Accessed August 14, 2009:

Liefting, L. W., S. Veerakone, L. I. Ward, and G. R. G. Clover. 2009. First Report of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense’ in Potato. Plant Disease 93(9):969.

Saqib, M., M. G. K. Jones, and R. A. C. Jones. 2006. ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense’ is associated with diseases of red clover and paddy melon in south-west Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 35:283-285.

Warning: The information in this alert has not been confirmed with the appropriate National Plant Protection Organization and is provided solely as an early warning. Please use the above information with caution.

Phytosanitary Alert System
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Prepared on: 08/18/2009
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