First record of Acidovorax citrulli in Italy
The NPPO of Italy recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Acidovorax citrulli (EPPO Alert List) on its territory. In 2009, the bacterium was detected in 2 samples of melon plants (Cucumis melo) showing suspect symptoms. These plants had been collected from a farm located in Ferrara province, Emilia-Romagna region. The infected melon crop had been established with plantlets from a nursery in Veneto region themselves issued from seeds supplied by an international seed company. It is noted that Emilia-Romagna is a major production area for melons and watermelons (Citrullus lanatus), with approximately 1570 ha for watermelon crops and 1487 ha for melon crops. The other main producing areas are located in Sicilia, Apulia and Lazio for watermelons, and in Sicilia, Lombardia, Apulia, Lazio and Sardegna for melons. Because A. citrulli is considered as a serious threat to the Italian production of melons and watermelons, the NPPO of Italy will sample and test imported seed lots for the presence of A. citrulli.
The pest status of Acidovorax citrulli in Italy is officially declared as follows: Transient, 1 outbreak under eradication, intensive monitoring to be carried out in the next growing season.
NPPO of Italy, 2010-03.