The Elms pp 103-119 | Cite as

Elm Yellows in Europe

  • Lorenzo Mittempergher


Fifteen years of observation of natural Elm Yellows (EY) infections on native and introduced elm species living in the Mediterranean area have led me to conclude that: 1. EY is not a dangerous disease on native European elm populations, but there are sources of pathogen inoculum and efficient insect vectors scattered throughout Italy, which may lead to epidemic outbreaks if susceptible hosts are introduced, 2. The majority of Asian species that were introduced into Europe (in order to increase native elm resistance to Dutch elm disease) show higher susceptibility to EY; therefore, they introduce a new complication into conventional breeding work, 3. Conventional breeding work based on clone constitution can fail if selection for low susceptibility to EY is not included. Clones with intermediate EY susceptibility must be supported by adequate cultural practices in order to compensate for weakening resulting from the disease, 4. The possibility of working with native species without the need for recourse to foreign germplasm argues in favor of using genetic engineering techniques for improvement work, 5. The phytoplasmas that are the agents of EY in Europe are very similar to those found in North America. Furthermore, in Europe they are often present in association with phytoplasmas of other groups. Future work should investigate the level of virulence of these strains and identify the insect vectors, which so far remain virtually unknown.


Nest Polymerase Chain Reaction Open Pollination Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Pattern Aster Yellow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bianco PA, Casati P, Alma A, Scattini G. 1997. Caratterizzazione molecolare di fitoplasmi riscontrati in cicaline catturate in vigneti del Veneto. Atti del V Convegno Annuale delia Società Italianadi Patologia Végétale, Agripolis-Legnaro (PD), 18-19 Sett. 1997:27.Google Scholar
  2. Bojnansky V. 1969. Elm witches’-brooms — a new disease in Czechoslovakia. Proceedings of the 6th Conference of the Czechoslovak Plant Virologists, Olomouc 1967: 211–213.Google Scholar
  3. Bojnansky V, Uzanova J. 1973. Morphological and histological changes caused by elm witches’-broom virus. Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the Czechoslovak Plant Virologists, High Tatras 1971: 177–183.Google Scholar
  4. Braun EJ, Sinclair WA. 1979. Phloem necrosis of elms: symptoms and histopathological observations in tolerant hosts. Phytopathology 69: 354–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ciferri R. 1961. Le virosi di piante varie: forestali e da frutto. Agricoltura 10: 48–52.Google Scholar
  6. Conti M, D’Agostino G, Mittempergher L. 1987. A recent epiphytotic of elm yellows in Italy. Proc. 7th Cong. Mediterranean Phytopathological Union, Granada, Spain, 20-27 Sept. 1987: 202–209.Google Scholar
  7. Daire X, Clair D, Boudon-Padieu E, Caudwell A. 1993. Diversity among mycoplasmalike organisms inducing grapevine yellows in France. Vitis 32: 159–163.Google Scholar
  8. Goidanich G. 1951. Gliscopazzi dell’olmo. Informatore Fitopatologico 14: 8.Google Scholar
  9. Griffiths HM, Hill GT, Sinclair WA. 1998a. Ash yellows phytoplasmas, a coherent, widely distributed group in North America. Abstracts 7th International Congress of Plant Pathology, Volume 2: 2.2.11, Edinburgh, Scotland 9-16 August 1998.Google Scholar
  10. Griffiths HM, Sinclair WA, Lee I-M, Boudon-Padieu E, Daire X, Smart C. 1998b. Implications of differences between elm-inhabiting phytoplasmas and others in 16S RNA group V. Eur. J. For. Path., 28, 79 (IUFRO-WP 07.04.02 Conference — Abstracts)Google Scholar
  11. Gualaccini F. 1963. Primi risultati di esperienze su scopazzi, foglie ad imbuto ed altre anomalie dell’olmo campestre (Ulmus campestris L). Bollettino della Stazione di Patologia Vegetale di Roma 21: 25–44.Google Scholar
  12. Gundersen DE, Lee I-M, Rehner SA, Davis RE, Kingsbury DT. 1994. Phylogeny of mycoplasmalike organisms (phytoplasmas): a basis for their classification. Journal of Bacteriology 176: 5244–5254.Google Scholar
  13. Lederer W, Seemüller E. 1991. Occurrence of mycoplasma-like organisms in diseased and nonsymptomatic alder trees (Alnus spp). European Journal of Forest Pathology 21: 90–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee I-M, Bertaccini A, Vibio M, Gundersen DE. 1995a. Detection of multiple phytoplasmas in perennial fruit trees with decline symptoms in Italy. Phytopathology 85: 728–735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee I-M, Bertaccini A, Vibio M, Gundersen DE, Davis RE, Mittempergher L, Conti M, Gennari F. 1995b. Detection and characterization of phytoplasmas associated with diseases in Ulmus and Rubus spp. in northern Italy. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 34: 174–183.Google Scholar
  16. Lee I-M, Davis RE, Sinclair WA, Dewitt ND, Conti M. 1993a. Genetic relatedness of mycoplasmalike organisms detected in Ulmus spp. in the United States and Italy by means of DNA probes and polymerase chain reactions. Phytopathology 83: 829–833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee I-M, Gundersen DE, Hammond RW, Davis RE. 1994. Use of mycoplasmalike organism (MLO) group-specific oligonucleotide primers for nested-PCR assays to detect mixed-MLO infections in a single host plant. Phytopathology 84: 559–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lee I-M, Hammond RW, Davis RE, Gundersen DE. 1993b. Universal amplification and analysis of pathogen 16S rDNA for classification and identification of mycoplasmalike organisms. Phytopathology 83: 834–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marcone C, Firrao G, Ragozzino A, Locci R. 1994a. Detection of MLOs in declining alder trees in southern Italy and their characterization by RFLP analysis. European Journal of Forest Pathology 24: 217–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marcone C, Ragozzino A, Firrao G, Locci R. 1994b. Detection of a Rubus stunt isolate and characterization by FRLP analysis. Rivista di Patologia Vegetale 4: 47–58.Google Scholar
  21. Marcone C, Ragozzino A, Firrao G, Locci R. 1994c. Detection of elm witches’ brooms agent in Basilicata, southern Italy. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 33: 194–199.Google Scholar
  22. Marcone C, Ragozzino A, Seemüller E. 1997. Identification and characterization of the phytoplasma associated with elm yellows in southern Italy and its relatedness to other phytoplasmas of the elm yellows group. European Journal of Forest Pathology 27: 45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marcone C, Schneider B, Lauer U, Smart CD, Seemüller E. 1996a. Genetic characterization and classification of two phytoplasmas associated with Spartium witches’-brooms disease. Plant Disease 80: 365–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marcone C, Schneider B, Seemüller E. 1996b. Detection of an elm yellows-related phytoplasma in Eucalyptus trees affected by little leaf disease in Italy. Plant Disease 80: 669–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Martini M, Vibio M, Sfalanga A, Bertaccini A. 1998. Molecular and ecological diversity of phytoplasmas belonging to the elm yellows group in Italy towards their tentative epidemiology. Abstracts of the 12th International Organization of Mycoplasmology Conference, Sydney, 22-28 July 1998: 130.Google Scholar
  26. Matteoni JA, Sinclair WA. 1985. Role of mycoplasmal disease, ash yellows, in decline of white ash in New York State. Phytopathology 75: 355–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mäurer R, Seemüller E, Sinclair WA. 1993. Genetic relatedness of mycoplasmalike organisms affecting elm, alder, and ash in Europe and North America. Phytopathology 83: 971–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mittempergher L, Fagnani A, Ferrini F, D’Agostino G. 1990. Elm yellows, a disease to be taken into consideration when breeding elm for disease resistance. Proceedings of the 8th Congress of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union, Agadir, Morocco, Actes Editions: 433–435.Google Scholar
  29. Pisi A, Marani F, Bertaccini A. 1981. Mycoplasma-like organisms associated with elm witches’-broom symptoms. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 20: 189–191.Google Scholar
  30. Prince JP, Davis RE, Wolf TK, Lee I-M, Mogen BD, Dally EL, Bertaccini A, Credi R, Barba M. 1993. Molecular detection of diverse mycoplasmalike organisms (MLOs) associated with grapevine yellows and their classification with aster yellows, x-disease, and elm yellows MLOs. Phytopathology 83: 1130–1137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Seemüller E. 1992. Laubgehölzmycoplasmosen in Europa. Nachrichtenblatt des Deutschen Pflanzenschutzdientes 44: 145–148.Google Scholar
  32. Sfalanga A. 1997. Presenza di Fitoplasmi in Celtis australis e Ulmus chenmoui: Indagini Epidemiologiche e Biomolecolari. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Florence, Italy.Google Scholar
  33. Sinclair WA. 1981. Elm Yellows. Pages 25–31 in: Compendium of Elm Diseases, RJ Stipes and R. Campana, eds. American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.Google Scholar
  34. Sinclair WA, Griffiths HM. 1994a. Ash yellows and its relationship to dieback and decline of ash. Annual Review of Phytopathology 32: 49–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sinclair WA, Griffiths HM, Lee I-M. 1994b. Mycoplasmalike organisms as causes of slow growth and decline of trees and shrubs. Journal of Arboriculture 20: 176–189.Google Scholar
  36. Sinclair WA, Griffiths HM, Treshow M. 1994c. Ash yellows in velvet ash in Zion National Park: high incidence but low impact. Plant Disease 78: 486–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Mittempergher

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations