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No phytoplasma in NS apple orchard

October 30, 2013  By CFIA

Photo courtesy of Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Germany.

Oct. 30, 2013 – Earlier this year, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced the possible detection of Apple Proliferation Phytoplasma (Candidatus phytoplasma mali) in one apple orchard near Kentville, Nova Scotia. Apple Proliferation Phytoplasma (APP) is considered to be a quarantine pest in both Canada and the United States.

As a result of this detection, four apple orchards were placed under quarantine, including the orchard where the phytoplasma was detected. Subsequent collection of samples has not produced any confirmation of the presence of APP at the quarantined site.

Between May and October of 2013, the CFIA surveyed each of the four orchards on a monthly basis for signs of APP and collected samples. A total of 121 samples were collected and tested by the CFIA for APP and the laboratory test results were negative for APP and other phytoplasmas.


The Pacific Gala trees in all four orchards were imported from the same nursery in the United States (U.S.). The trees in the U.S., that were the source of the trees in the four orchards, were tested in 2013 and all results were negative fr APP.

Through collaboration with phytoplasma identification experts from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the CFIA has concluded that additional genetic information is required to confirm the identity of the phytoplasma detected.

As the identification of the phytoplasma has not yet been determined, it cannot be regulated. As a result the four orchards will be released from quarantine. With the support and cooperation of the producer, the CFIA will continue to monitor the orchard where the phytoplasma was detected.

If you have questions regarding this issue, please contact the CFIA at 905-938-8697.

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