Scientists record 1st North American case of harmful phytoplasma disease

A diseased Yellow Nutsedge weed

A yellow nutsedge infected with the Candidatus phytoplasma brasiliense. Photo is courtesy of Brian-Bahder.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla — Scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have recorded the first North American case of a harmful phytoplasma disease known for its threat to fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops in South America and the Middle East.

To make matters worse, scientists confirmed the host for the disease to be one of the most noxious and rapidly spreading weeds commonly found in a wide range of environments throughout the United States and into Canada.

Findings of the “First report of ‘Cadidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense’ in North America and in a new host, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)” were just published in the journal “Plant Health Progress.”

Lourdes Mederos April 18, 2022