'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' detected for the first time in Texas and California (US)
In January 2012, the presence of 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (associated with citrus huanglongbing – EPPO A1 List) was confirmed for the first time in Texas (US). The pathogen was detected in samples collected from a symptomatic sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) tree located in a commercial citrus grove in the area of San Juan (Hidalgo county). It is recalled that since 2009, the whole territory of Texas was regulated for the psyllid vector of the disease, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae – EPPO A1 List). Eradication measures are being taken against ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ in Texas.
In March 2012, the presence of 'Ca. L. asiaticus' was confirmed for the first time in California (US). The bacterium was detected in a sample of D. citri and plant material taken from a citrus tree in a residential neighbourhood in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County. It is recalled that the psyllid vector, D. citri, was first detected in California in 2008 (EPPO RS 2008/160) and that official measures were already taken against it in several counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura). Eradication measures are being applied against 'Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus' (e.g. removal of infected trees, control of the psyllid vector, restrictions on the movement of citrus material) and intensive surveys will be carried out to delimit the extent of the disease in California.
In the USA, huanglongbing was first detected in 2005 in Florida (currently recorded in all 30 citrus-growing counties), and then in Louisiana (2008), South Carolina (2009), Georgia (2009), and now Texas and California. The states of Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the psyllid vector, D. citri, but not the disease.
The pest status of 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' in the USA is officially declared as: Present, only in some areas, and subject to official control to limit its spread (2012-01).
California Department of Food and Agriculture. News Release of 2012-03-30. Citrus disease huanglongbing detected in Hacienda Heights areas of Los Angeles county. http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/Press_Releases/Press_Release.asp?PRnum=12-013
NAPPO Phytosanitary Pest Alert System. Official Pest Reports. USA (2012-01-20) APHIS confirms citrus greening (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) in Texas. http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail_print.cfm?oprid=512