The Elms pp 121-136 | Cite as

Elm Yellows in North America

  • Wayne A. Sinclair


Elm yellows (EY) is a debilitating or lethal disease caused by an unnamed phytoplasma. Phytoplasmas are prokaryotic obligate parasites of plant phloem, of insects that act as vectors, and probably of additional insects that feed by sucking phloem sap. Phytoplasmas can be detected by electron or fluorescence microscopy or by PCR amplification of particular DNA sequences. The phytoplasmas associated with EY are distinguished from others by analysis of ribosomal DNA. EY is widespread in the eastern half of the USA, where sporadic epidemics have killed native elms but not those of Eurasian origin. In 1998, epidemics were in progress in Illinois, New York State, and an area centered in the Potomac valley northwest of Washington, DC. One EY vector, the leafhopper Scaphoideus luteolus, is known, and others probably exist. Research in progress or needed includes assessment of EY phytoplasma resistance or tolerance in elm cultivars developed for resistance to the Dutch elm disease pathogen, identification of EY vectors in different geographic regions, elucidation of vector biology, determination of reasons why elms of Eurasian origin seem to escape damage from EY in North America, and elucidation of mechanisms of phytoplasmal pathogenicity.


Foliar Symptom Aster Yellow Phytoplasma Infection Plant Disease Reporter Flavescence Doree 
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.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

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  • Wayne A. Sinclair

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