Prospects for plant quarantine in Russia
An article by A.I. Smetnik of the Plant Quarantine Research Institute in Moscow sets out prospects for plant quarantine in Russia. Inspection services have to adapt to the fact that imports are now privatized and come from a much greater diversity of sources, without advance warning, consigned to many destinations in Russia. Thus, citrus fruit imports used to come mainly from Africa, but now come from European and Mediterranean countries. The main concern with them remains medfly (Ceratitis capitata), the form from Europe being possibly better adapted to Russian conditions. C. capitata did establish foci in Ukraine in the 1960s, which were then eradicated. In the past, consignments of citrus fruits were limited to certain points of entry, and were cold-treated or fumigated. This is now increasingly difficult to enforce.
In the past, seeds of vegetables and ornamentals entered in relatively small quantities, for research and breeding institutions, mainly from Hungary and elsewhere in Europe. Practically no imported seeds reached the retail market. Now, cheaper seeds come in from countries like India and Vietnam, often with Trogoderma granarium, or else with bostrychids or lyctids in the packing material. The only seeds which have regularly entered in large quantities directly for the producer have been maize, soybean and sunflower (and also planting material of fruit crops and grapevine). They have been the occasion for the entry of: Cochliobolus heterostrophus (*), Diaporthe helianthi (*), Xanthomonas oryzae pvs oryzae and oryzicola, Diaporthe phaseolorum var. caulivora (*), Cercospora kikuchii (*), Phomopsis viticola, plum pox potyvirus (*), grapevine flavescence dorée MLO, barley stripe mosaic hordeivirus. Some of these (marked *) have established locally.
With less possibilities to control consignments closely at import, surveillance for new outbreaks becomes increasingly important and the Russian quarantine service will have to organize itself better for this. Pheromone trapping is already practised for T. granarium, Phthorimaea operculella, Spodoptera litura and other insects.
Russia has also had to revise its regulations. Their fundamental basis changed very little from their first establishment in 1934 till the 8th revision of the Soviet regulations in 1986. In 1992, the Russian Federation produced its own regulations, divided as before into three lists (EPPO RS 95/002). The lists are shorter, for a number of pests have been excluded: pests of cotton and citrus of no direct interest to Russia, pests which have now reached the limits of their natural distribution (Pseudococcus comstocki, Leptinotarsa decemlineata). Graphognathus (Pantomorus) leucoloma (a pest of far-southern USA) has been eliminated and replaced by Pantomorus godmani, a pest already introduced from North America into Europe which seems of greater relevance to Russia. Dinoderus bifoveolatus and Synoxylon spp. have been added, as these are pests now regularly being intercepted on
packing wood from the Far East. The Asian form of Lymantria dispar has been added to the list, and is distinguished from Siberian and European forms. The number of weeds on the lists has been reduced, partly due to the fact that of the 100 or so weeds introduced into Russia in the last 20 years, only 20 or so were ever found contaminating imported seed lots. However, measures against quarantine weeds remain very important.
Concerning pathogens, many have entered Russia in recent years of which some have established (see above). The soybean pathogens D. phaseolorum var. caulivora and C. kikuchii have established only in some frontier areas. Outbreaks of the pathovars of Xanthomonas oryzae were found, but did not persist. In Western Europe, Globodera pallida has tended to appear where cultivars resistant to G. rostochiensis are grown. It is not known in Russia, but this may be partly because such cultivars are at present little used. G. pallida may well be present at low levels.
Russia is much concerned with the export of wood to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. All coniferous wood from the European part of Russia has been certified since the beginning of 1993; since mid-1993, all such wood from Russia east of the Urals is compulsorily debarked or kiln-dried according to EPPO requirements, and must be free from grubholes. There have been Chinese reports of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus in Siberian wood, but the Russian quarantine service does not confirm the existence of this nematode in Russia.
Finally, the importance of contact and cooperation with the plant protection services of trading-partner countries is stressed, so that acceptable scientifically based phytosanitary requirements can be established.
Smetnik, A.I. (1994) [Outlook of research on plant quarantine].
Zashchita Rastenii, no. 3, pp. 43-46