EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 1996 Num. article: 1996/108

Is Erwinia amylovora present in Japan ?

Some early reports, made at the beginning of this century, had mentioned the possible occurrence of Erwinia amylovora (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) in Japan. However, these old records were denied by other Japanese researchers in 1974, and considered as misidentifications. When consulted by the EPPO Secretariat in 1992, the Japanese Plant Protection Service officially declared that E. amylovora was absent from Japan.

However, different views have been presented at the 7th ISHS International Workshop on Fire Blight in 1995. A bacterial shoot blight of Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) occurred on Hokkaido, in the 1970s. The symptoms were indistinguishable from those of fireblight as it occurs on European pear (Pyrus communis) in North America and Europe. Beer at al. (1995) have studied the only known surviving strain from the 1970s and several other strains isolated more recently from symptomatic pear blossoms and shoots on Hokkaido. Based on several tests (traditional bacterial tests, molecular analysis), the authors concluded that the ‘bacterial shoot blight pathogen’ is Erwinia amylovora. Inoculation of fruit and growing shoots of several European and Asian pear cultivars resulted in typical symptoms of fireblight.


Plant Protection Service of Japan, 1992.

Beer, S.V.; Kim, J.H.; Gustafson, H.L.; Zumoff, C.H.; Laby, R.J.; Bogdanove, A.J.; Tanii, A.; Tamura, O.; Momol, T.; Aldwinckle, H.S. (1995) Characterization of bacteria that cause "bacterial shoot blight of pear" in Japan.
Abstract of a paper presented at the 7th ISHS International Workshop on Fire Blight, 1995-08-07/10, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada.