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2008 Plum Pox Virus survey completed

November 6, 2008  By Canadian Food Inspection Agency


ppvplumNovember 6, 2008, Ottawa, Ont. –
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its 2008 plum
pox virus (PPV) survey activities and there was a significant drop in
the number of positive samples, despite a 35 per cent increase in the
number of samples collected compared to 2007.

November 6, 2008, Ottawa, Ont. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its 2008 plum pox virus (PPV) survey activities and there was a significant drop in the number of positive samples, despite a 35 per cent increase in the number of samples collected compared to 2007.

ppvplum
Plum Pox Virus symptoms on plum.
Photo courtesy of CFIA.

The CFIA collected a little more than 750,000 samples from commercial orchards and residential properties during 2008. Only 131 samples tested positive this year, compared to 261 samples found positive in 2007.

This year’s survey also detected a new strain of PPV (PPV-Rec) in three trees on a residential property within the PPV quarantine area in Niagara (Grimsby, Ont.). However, this new strain detection is not likely to affect the eradication of PPV in Canada.

Additional surveys in the area suggest PPV-Rec has not spread outside of that property and the detection is an isolated occurrence. The positive trees were plum rootstocks with grafted apricot, peach and plum branches. The trees were detected as part of the homeowner’s survey activities.

CFIA will continue to monitor for the presence of PPV-Rec, a strain only recently discovered and only known to occur in Europe. At this time, very little is known about the biology of the strain. Preliminary research seems to indicate that it could be aphid transmissible however the specific host range of this strain still needs to be determined.

This is not the first time a new strain of PPV has been found. In 2002, a new strain (PPV-W) was discovered at a residence in Stoney Creek. Survey activities were enhanced in the surrounding area and no further positives were detected. The infected tree was removed and the strain type was never detected again in Canada. This was considered an isolated incident with no impact on the eradication program.


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