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Elm yellows: a widespread and overlooked killer of elm trees across the United States

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Year Published

2017

Publication

In: Pinchot, Cornelia C.; Knight, Kathleen S.; Haugen, Linda M.; Flower, Charles E.; Slavicek, James M., eds. Proceedings of the American elm restoration workshop 2016; 2016 October 25-27; Lewis Center, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-174. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 68-72.

Abstract

The elm yellows phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi) is a geographically widespread pathogen that poses a significant threat to most native wild elms in North America (Ulmus americana, U. rubra, U. alata, U. crassifolia, and U. serotina) (Mäurer et al. 1993), as well as to the success of American elm research programs focused on breeding Dutch elm disease tolerance. Despite the advancements of American elm research programs in creating Dutch elm disease-tolerant varieties, elm yellows research has lagged and threatens to undermine the success of breeding programs. Here, we have three goals: 1) to present a general background on elm yellows; 2) to discuss the identification and management of a 2016 elm yellows outbreak in an American elm research plantation in Delaware, OH; and 3) to summarize recent research advancements as well as tools toward identification and management. To date, 9 of 47 trees from the American elm research plantation in Delaware, OH, tested have been confirmed to be infected with phytoplasmas similar to those known to cause elm yellows in other locations. False positives were frequent and improved methods for detecting and identifying the phytoplasma are needed.

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Citation

Flower, Charles E.; Hayes-Plazolles, Nancy; Rosa, Cristina; Slavicek, James M. 2017. Elm yellows: a widespread and overlooked killer of elm trees across the United States. In: Pinchot, Cornelia C.; Knight, Kathleen S.; Haugen, Linda M.; Flower, Charles E.; Slavicek, James M., eds. Proceedings of the American elm restoration workshop 2016; 2016 October 25-27; Lewis Center, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-174. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 68-72.

Last updated on: October 27, 2017