EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 01 - 2017 Num. article: 2017/014

Detection and eradication of Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. poinsettiae in Germany

The NPPO of Germany recently informed the EPPO Secretariat that Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. poinsettiae was found in August 2016 on rooted cuttings of Euphorbia pulcherrima (cv. ‘Christmas feelings glitter’) in a greenhouse of a nursery in Lower-Saxony. A plant sample was sent by the nursery to the plant protection service. In September 2016, the bacterium was identified by isolation and DNA sequencing. It is presumed that the pathogen has been introduced with cuttings from Uganda. However, the possible presence of the bacterium in this country is not known. Extensive disinfection measures were taken in the nursery to avoid any spread of the pathogen. Tracing forward investigations were initiated because the affected lot had already been delivered to other places at the time of official inspection. These investigations included cuttings of two other varieties ‘Christmas Feelings Wonder’ and ‘Christmas Feelings Red’ as these might be infected too. Investigations showed that potentially infected plants had been delivered to 7 other nurseries in Lower Saxony. The pathogen was detected or suspected in 4 of these nurseries. Official phytosanitary measures were taken in all nurseries concerned. All infected plants were destroyed, and as a precautionary measure, plants that were suspected to be infected were put under quarantine. These plants were inspected intensively but as no further infection was found, official phytosanitary measures were terminated. The German NPPO concluded that eradication measures have been completed successfully.
The NPPO of Germany recalled that C. flaccumfaciens pv. poinsettiae was detected for the first time in Germany in 2014 in North Rhine-Westphalia on one occasion but was not reported again. It is presumed that the pathogen cannot establish outdoors in Germany because the climatic conditions are not suitable for the host plant, Euphorbia pulcherrima. An express PRA concluded that although information was very scarce in the literature, this bacterium might present a risk to poinsettia production and that its introduction into glasshouse production systems should be avoided. It was also recommended that in the case of an outbreak, all infected plants should be destroyed and extensive disinfection measures (premises, tools and machinery) should be taken.
The pest status of Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. poinsettiae in Germany is officially declared as: Absent, eradicated.


NPPO of Germany (2016-12).
JKI. Express PRA for Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. poinsettiae. http://pflanzengesundheit.jki.bund.de/dokumente/upload/43f1a_curtobacterium-flaccumfaciens-pv-poinsettiae_express-pra_en.pdf