Pest categorisation of Chrysomyxa arctostaphyli

European Union, forest pathology, kinnikinnick, pest risk, plant pest, quarantine, tree health
First published in the EFSA Journal
5 July 2018
21 June 2018
Scientific Opinion


Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Chrysomyxa arctostaphyli, a well‐defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Coleosporiaceae. The pathogen is regulated in Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI) as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. C. arctostaphyli is native to North America and is the causal agent of spruce broom rust. C. arctostaphyli is a heteroecious rust with a 2‐year life cycle alternating between the aecial host Picea spp. and the telial host Arctostaphylos spp. The main reported aecial host is P. engelmannii, but also P. abies, P. pungens, P. sitchensis, P. glauca, P. mariana and P. rubens (as well as Picea as a genus) are reported as hosts. The fungus is not known to occur in the EU but could enter via host plants for planting and cut branches. It could establish in the EU, as hosts are present and climatic conditions are favourable. The extent of overlap between the ranges of the telial and aecial hosts is greater in the EU than in North America. The pathogen would be able to spread following establishment by dissemination of spores and human movement of infected host plants. Should the pathogen be introduced in the EU, impacts can be expected in spruce woodland, plantations and on ornamental spruce trees, leading to reduced tree growth and associated ecosystem service provision. The main uncertainty concerns the level of susceptibility of P. abies and P. sitchensis under European conditions. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met. As the pest is not present in the EU, not all criteria for consideration as a regulated non‐quarantine pest are met.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Jean‐Claude Grégoire, Josep Anton Jaques Miret, Michael Jeger, Alan MacLeod, Maria Navajas Navarro, Björn Niere, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Gregor Urek, Ariena Van Bruggen, Wopke Van der Werf, Jonathan West and Stephan Winter.
Panel on Plant Health
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EFSA Journal 2018;16(7):5355
Question Number
On request from
European Commission