First report of Erwinia amylovora in Tunisia
In Tunisia, fireblight caused by Erwinia amylovora (EPPO A2 List) was found for the first time on pear (Pyrus communis) trees in May 2012. Symptoms were observed on flowers and young shoots of P. communis cv. ‘Alexandrine’ in one locality. Surveys carried out in 2013 during winter and spring showed that fireblight has spread to other governorates. Infection levels varied according to cultivars and regions. The first detection and confirmation of E. amylovora was performed by the Quarantine Laboratory of DGPCQPA (Ministry of Agriculture) in collaboration with the Olive Institute laboratory (Tunis), and in accordance with the EPPO Diagnostic Protocol for E. amylovora. An official control program is being established by the Tunisian NPPO which includes the destruction of highly infected trees and pruning of infected twigs followed by treatment with copper fungicide of trees with limited infections.
The pest status of Erwinia amylovora in Tunisia is officially declared as: Present first found in 2012 with restricted distribution and under official control.
NPPO of Tunisia (2013-05).