First report of Erwinia amylovora in Finland
The NPPO of Finland recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first outbreak of Erwinia amylovora (EPPO A2 List) on its territory. The disease was found during a specific survey for fireblight (Finland is an EU protected zone for fireblight). In September 2014, typical symptoms of fireblight were observed on a few pear trees (Pyrus communis) in a commercial orchard located in the Åland islands. A sample was collected and tested (isolation, IF, nested-PCR, pathogenicity tests) in the laboratory of the Finnish Food Safety Authority for the presence of E. amylovora. Positive results were obtained and confirmed by Fera (isolation, lateral-flow test, real-time PCR, fatty acid profiling) in the United Kingdom. The origin of the disease is unknown but it is possible that it has been introduced with infected planting material. In the diseased pear orchards, the plants for planting had been produced in Belgium and delivered to Finland in 2009. A survey around the outbreak site and tracing-back studies on planting material will be conducted. Eradication measures will be determined according to the on-going survey results. Infected trees and those located in their immediate vicinity will be destroyed during winter.
The pest status of Erwinia amylovora in Finland is officially declared as: Present, under eradication.
NPPO of Finland (2014-10).