Absence of citrus tristeza closterovirus in Italy
In the EPPO data base PQR, citrus tristeza closterovirus (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) was mentioned as present with a restricted distribution in Italy, based in particular on a paper from Davino ; Catara (1986) which mentioned the finding of a focus of CTV-infected plants in Calabria which had been then subjected to an eradication programme. The Plant Protection Service of Italy has informed the EPPO Secretariat that extensive surveys have been carried out in Italy and that the virus is no longer found.
From 1984 to 1986, extensive surveys have been implemented mostly in orchards where trees were propagated from budsticks introduced from abroad, in the main citrus-growing regions of Italy (Basilicata, Calabria, Sardegna, Sicilia). More than 100.000 trees were visually inspected, and 20.000 tests (ELISA and inoculation on Mexican lime) were carried out on suspicion (imported plants, symptoms of any disorder). Results (Davino et al., 1988) showed that 78 plants were infected. The main infected site was located in Calabria (in the Province of Catenzano). Infected trees were destroyed and continuous monitoring was implemented. Further surveys carried out during the following years by the Plant Protection Service in the region of Calabria showed negative results.
At present, the Italian Plant Protection Service has set up a network in order to monitor citrus tristeza closterovirus on the whole national territory, as Italy is now an EU-protected zone for citrus tristeza closterovirus (European isolates), on fruit-producing and ornamental citrus. So far, the virus has not been found. Therefore, in the EPPO Distribution List for citrus tristeza closterovirus (EPPO RS 95/120), the record for Italy should read 'found in the past but did not establish'.
Plant Protection Service of Italy, 1995-09.
Davino, M.; Catara, A. (1986) La tristezza degli agrumi.
Informatore Fitopatologico, no.1, 9-18.
Davino, M.; Marras, F.; Catara, A.; Foddai, A.; Terranova, G. (1988) Present status of citrus tristeza in Italy.
Proceedings of the 10th OIVC Conference. OIVC, 8-13.