Texas Phoenix Palm Decline

Elizabeth Neely  |  7/18/2016 9:21:56 PM

Texas Phoenix palm decline is a fatal disease of palms. Also known as date palm lethal decline, the disease had only been found in Florida and Texas until recently. During December 2013, however, this disease was positively detected from Canary Island date palms in New Orleans.

Texas Phoenix palm decline got its name from the state where it was first identified from Phoenix canariensis. The disease causes rapid decline and kills infected palms.

The disease is caused by a phytoplasma, Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae, an unculturable bacterium with no cell wall. The Texas Phoenix palm decline phytoplasma strain 16SrIV-D is closely related to but genetically distinct from phytoplasma strain 16SrIV-A, which causes lethal yellowing of palms.

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