History of lethal yellowing with emphasis on the susceptibility of royal palms (Roystonea spp.)


Eder Ramos Hernández
Carlos Fredy Ortiz garcía


Lethal yellowing, Texas Phoenix palm decline, lethal bronzing, royal palms, susceptibility.


Objective: To explore the available literature relating to lethal yellowing (LY) in order to assess the susceptibility of royal palms (Roystonea spp.) to this disease.

Design/methodology/approach: Bibliographic material in English and Spanish was consulted in physical and digital libraries in search of unequivocal and plausible LY reports in Roystonea palms. Information gathered was then reviewed and discussed.

Results: We found evidence of LY susceptibility of royal palms dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to Mexico, possible LY outbreaks in Roystonea palms might have occurred in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Limitations on study/implications: Reports of LY predating molecular diagnostic tools, particularly in Roystonea palms, cannot be assumed as unequivocal evidence of susceptibility to this disease.

Findings/conclusions: Royal palms have shown evidence of susceptibility to the LY pathogen throughout the Caribbean Basin. In light of this, their potential role as long-term phytoplasma reservoirs should be examined in order to better comprehend this disease’s pathosystem

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