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Phytopathogenic Mollicutes
Year : 2023, Volume : 13, Issue : 1
First page : ( 33) Last page : ( 34)
Print ISSN : 2249-4669. Online ISSN : 2249-4677.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2249-4677.2023.00017.8

Assessment of proportion of populations of Haplaxius crudus and Oecleus mackaspringi carrying ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae’ in Jamaica

Myrie Wayne1,*, Helmick Ericka E.2, Bahder Brian W.2

1Coconut Industry Board, Kingston, Jamaica

2University of Florida - Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Davie, Florida, United States of America

*Corresponding author e-mail: Wayne Myrie (waynemyrie@hotmail.com)

Online published on 23 May, 2023.

Abstract

Lethal yellowing, associated with the presence of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae’ is a devastating disease of coconut palms in the Caribbean basin. The disease was originally described from Jamaica and continues to threaten sustainable production there to date. In Florida, the insect vector was determined to be the planthopper Haplaxius crudus in the late 1970s, however attempts to replicate this in Jamaica have failed. Two surveys were done in Jamaica in October 2019 and in February 2022. Specimens of H. crudus and another common planthopper, Oecleus mackaspringi, were collected and screened for the presence of phytoplasmas. A total of 79 O. mackaspringi have been collected in two surveys in two different sites with documented spread of lethal yellowing. All 79 specimens of O. mackaspringi resulted negative for lethal yellowing. For H. crudus, 44 specimens (31 from site one and 13 from site two) were collected with only one specimen from site two testing positive. These results indicate that the percentage of the population of insect vector carrying lethal yellowing is low, which is consistent with field studies in Mexico and Florida. Future efforts in Jamaica need to sample during months with peak of adult insect activity to increase probability of detecting the phytoplasma from H. crudus and verify if O. mackaspringi is also a vector.

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Keywords

Insect vector, Survey, Palms, Caribbean.

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