First report of Erwinia amylovora in Slovenia
Erwinia amylovora (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) is an A1 quarantine pest in Slovenia which had never been found, so far. Official and systematic surveys have been conducted since 1998. More than 600 monitoring points were checked for the presence of symptoms and approximately 60 host plants with or without suspect symptoms were tested every year. During this survey, the disease was found for first time in July 2001, at one location on an old pear tree showing visual symptoms. The bacterium was isolated on growing medium from a few samples collected from a single infected tree. Its identity was determined by laboratory analyses using immunofluorescence, pathogenicity and PCR tests. The identify of the pathogen was also confirmed by the Dutch Plant Protection Service's laboratory in Wageningen. Eradication measures have immediately been taken according to national legislation. The infected tree was destroyed even before the identification of bacterium was completed, and the survey was intensified with observations and sampling of all host plants within a radius of 5 km. Within a radius of 1000 m from the infected tree, 62 samples were collected and tested, and 2 positive samples were found corresponding to one apple and one pear tree. This lead to the immediate destruction of the apple and pear trees concerned. These infected fruit trees were all located in private gardens in the Northern part of Slovenia which is not an important fruit-tree production area. As the survey finishes on October 15 and no further infections have been found the current situation of Erwinia amylovora in Slovenia can be described as Absent: found only at one location and eradicated.
NPPO of Slovenia, 2001-10.