Pest categorisation of Sphaerulina musiva
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Plant Health Panel performed a pest categorisation of Sphaerulina musiva, a well-defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Mycosphaerellaceae. Following a recent phylogenetic analysis of the genus Septoria and other closely related genera, a new name (S. musiva) was introduced for the species. The former species name Mycosphaerella populorum is used in the Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The pathogen is regulated in Annex IAI as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. S. musiva is reported from North and South America and not known to occur in the EU. S. musiva causes Septoria leaf spots and cankers of poplar (Populus spp.). Of the poplars native to Europe, Populus nigra is reported as susceptible and Populus tremula as susceptible when planted in North America. The hybrid Populus x canadensis (arising from a cross of P. nigra and the North American Populus deltoides), widely grown in the EU, is also susceptible. The pest could enter the EU on plants for planting, cut branches, isolated bark and wood with and without bark. S. musiva could establish in the EU, as hosts are common and favourable climatic conditions are widespread, and could spread following establishment by natural dispersal and movement of infected plants for planting, cut branches, isolated bark and wood with or without bark. The pest introduction would have impacts in woodlands, plantations and nurseries. The pathogen is considered the most serious disease affecting hybrid poplar production in North America. Selection, breeding and planting of resistant species and clones are the main methods used to control the damage caused by the pathogen. There is some uncertainty on the geographical distribution of the pest in the Caucasus, the Crimean Peninsula and South America and on the level of susceptibility among Populus species native to Europe as well as Salix spp. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met. For regulated non-quarantine pests, the criterion on the pest presence in the EU is not met.