Pest categorisation of the non‐EU phytoplasmas of Cydonia Mill., Fragaria L., Malus Mill., Prunus L., Pyrus L., Ribes L., Rubus L. and Vitis L.

Crotalaria witches’ broom phytoplasma, North American grapevine yellows, peach yellow leaf roll, pear decline, pest risk, plant health, plant pest, quarantine, sweet potato little leaf
First published in the EFSA Journal
13. Januar 2020
21. November 2019
Scientific Opinion

Competing interests: In line with EFSA's policy on declarations of interest, Panel member Francesco Di Serio did not participate in the adoption of this scientific output.


Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of nine phytoplasmas of Cydonia Mill., Fragaria L., Malus Mill., Prunus L., Pyrus L., Ribes L., Rubus L. and Vitis L. (hereafter “host plants”) known to occur only outside the EU or having a limited presence in the EU. This opinion covers the (i) reference strains of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense’, ‘Ca. P. fraxini’, ‘Ca. P. hispanicum’, ‘Ca. P. trifolii’, ‘Ca. P. ziziphi’, (ii) related strains infecting the host plants of ‘Ca. P. aurantifolia’, ‘Ca. P. pruni’, and ‘Ca. P. pyri’, and (iii) an unclassified phytoplasma causing Buckland valley grapevine yellows. Phytoplasmas can be detected by available methods and are efficiently transmitted by vegetative propagation, with plants for planting acting as a major entry pathway and a long‐distance spread mechanism. Phytoplasmas are also transmitted in a persistent and propagative manner by some insect families of the Fulgoromorpha, Cicadomorpha and Sternorrhyncha (order Hemiptera). No transovarial, pollen or seed transmission has been reported. The natural host range of the categorised phytoplasmas varies from one to more than 90 plant species, thus increasing the possible entry pathways. The host plants are widely cultivated in the EU. All the categorised phytoplasmas can enter and spread through the trade of host plants for planting, and by vectors. Establishment of these phytoplasmas is not expected to be limited by EU environmental conditions. The introduction of these phytoplasmas in the EU would have an economic impact. There are measures to reduce the risk of entry, establishment, spread and impact. Uncertainties result from limited information on distribution, biology and epidemiology. All the phytoplasmas categorised here meet the criteria evaluated by EFSA to qualify as potential Union quarantine pests, and they do not qualify as potential regulated non‐quarantine pests, because they are non‐EU phytoplasmas.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claude Bragard, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Francesco Di Serio, Paolo Gonthier, Marie‐Agnès Jacques, Josep Anton Jaques Miret, Annemarie Fejer Justesen, Alan MacLeod, Christer Sven Magnusson, Panagiotis Milonas, Juan A. Navas‐Cortes, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Philippe L. Reignault, Hans‐Hermann Thulke, Wopke Van der Werf, Antonio Vicent Civera, Jonathan Yuen, Lucia Zappalà.
Panel on Plant Health
alpha [at]
EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5929
On request from
European Commission