ARCHIVED - Update for Stakeholders: Phytoplasma in an apple orchard in Nova Scotia

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October 23, 2013

Earlier this year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced the possible detection of Apple Proliferation Phytoplasma (APP) (Candidatus Phytoplasma mali) in one apple orchard near Kentville, Nova Scotia. APP is considered to be a quarantine pest in both Canada and the United States.

As a result of this initial identification, four apple orchards were placed under quarantine, including the orchard where the phytoplasma was detected. Subsequent collection of samples has not produced any confirmation of the presence of APP at the quarantined site.

Between May and October of 2013, the CFIA surveyed each of the four orchards on a monthly basis for signs of APP and collected samples. A total of 121 samples were collected and tested by the CFIA for APP and other phytoplasmas. The surveys found no symptoms of APP and the laboratory test results were all negative for APP and other phytoplasmas.

The Pacific Gala trees in all four orchards were imported from the same nursery in the United States (U.S.). The trees in the U.S., that were the source of the trees in the four orchards, were tested in 2013 and all results were negative for APP.

The CFIA will continue to work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to further advance diagnostic tools.

As the initial identification of the phytoplasma has not yet been determined, it cannot be regulated. As a result the four orchards will be released from quarantine. With the support and cooperation of the producer, the CFIA will continue to monitor the orchard where the phytoplasma was initially identified.

The CFIA will continue to work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to further advance diagnostic tools.

If you have questions regarding this issue, please contact Charlene Green by email or by phone at 905-938-8697.

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