EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 10 - 2013 Num. article: 2013/215

First report of Spongospora subterranea in Malta

The NPPO of Malta recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Spongospora subterranea (powdery scab of potato) on its territory. In August 2012, the disease was found in commercial ware potato crops (Solanum tuberosum) in 3 different localities of Malta (Luqa, Gharghur and Siggiewi). Damage was limited to 3 fields which were found infected with a moderate severity. During laboratory testing, 3 samples were found positive and the identity of the pathogen was confirmed by the Institute of Integrative Biology (Switzerland). It is suspected that infected seed potatoes were the likely source of this infection. Farmers were instructed to burn the infected crops and to leave their fields fallow for a minimum period of 3-5 years. They were also instructed to only use resistant varieties of seed potatoes following this fallow period.
The pest status of Spongospora subterranea in Malta is officially declared as: Transient, actionable, under surveillance.


NPPO of Malta (2013-08).