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Pest risk assessment of Monilinia fructicola for the EU territory and identification and evaluation of risk management options

EFSA Journal 2011;9(4):2119 [155 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2119
  EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLH) Panel Members Richard Baker, Thierry Candresse, Erzsébet Dormannsné Simon, Gianni Gilioli, Jean-Claude Grégoire, Michael John Jeger, Olia Evtimova Karadjova, Gábor Lövei, David Makowski, Charles Manceau, Maria Navajas, Angelo Porta Puglia, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Jan Schans, Gritta Schrader, Gregor Urek, Johan Coert van Lenteren, Irene Vloutoglou, Stephan Winter and Marina Zlotinae Acknowledgment The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Monilinia fructicola: Erzsébet Dormannsné-Simon, Paloma Melgarejo, Angelo Porta Puglia, Vittorio Rossi, Gerard van Leeuwen, Irene Vloutoglou for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion and EFSA staff: Sharon Cheek, Olaf Mosbach-Schulz and Sara Tramontini for the support provided to this scientific opinion. Contact plh@efsa.europa.eu
Type: Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel On request from: European Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2010-00912 Adopted: 23 March 2011 Published: 12 April 2011 Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Abstract

The EFSA Panel on Plant Health has delivered a pest risk assessment on the risk posed by Monilinia fructicola to the EU territory and has identified risk management options and evaluated their effectiveness in reducing the risk to plant health posed by this organism. The Panel has also analysed the effectiveness of the special requirements presently listed in Annex IV, Part A, Section I of Council Directive 2000/29/EC, in reducing the risk of introduction of this pest into the EU territory. The Panel concluded that the main pathways for entry into the EU territory are plant material for propagation purposes and fruit of host genera and that, with the exception of dried fruit, the probability of entry is very likely. The probability of establishment is also very likely due to the suitable environmental conditions and to the widespread presence of host species, susceptible for most of the year, on most of the risk assessment area. Cultural practices and control measures currently applied and competition with other Monilinia species cannot prevent the establishment of M. fructicola. The probability of spread is very likely because of the multiple ways of dispersal of the pest. The overall impact in the endangered area is estimated to be moderate. Neither additional cultural measures nor increased fungicide treatments would be needed to control of brown rot in the orchard after the introduction of M. fructicola.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2011

Summary

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Plant Health was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the risk posed by Monilinia fructicola (Winter) Honey to the EU territory and to identify risk management options and to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing the risk to plant health posed by this organism. The Panel was also requested to provide an opinion on the effectiveness of the special requirements linked to M. fructicola, presently listed in Annex IV, Part A, Section I of Council Directive 2000/29/EC[1], in reducing the risk of introduction of this pest into the EU territory.

Having given due consideration to the evidence, the Panel concludes that:

  1. Entry of M. fructicola by means of plant propagation material, fresh fruits of susceptible genera and by natural means from infested European non-EU countries is very likely. It is very unlikely in case of dried fruit and natural means from infested non-European countries. In both cases the level of uncertainty is low.
  2. Establishment of M. fructicola in the risk assessment area is very likely with a low level of uncertainty because of the avaialability of host plants with a long period of susceptibility and of suitable environmental conditions. Competition from other Monilinia species (M. laxa and M. fructigena) and currently applied cultural practices and control measures cannot prevent the establishment of the pest. In addition, the pest has already been detected in several Member States in the risk assessment area (France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain).
  3. Spread of M. fructicola within the risk assessment area is very likely with a low level of uncertainty because of its multiple ways to spread (natural and human assisted), to the wide distribution of host species in the risk assessment area and the absence of effective barriers.
  4. Potential for yield reduction and negative effects on fruit production in orchards is estimated as moderate, with medium level of uncertainty mainly because of the incompleteness of data from the current area of distribution of the pest. Incidence and severity of the disease caused by the brown rot fungi, on flowers and twigs/branches are unlikely to increase compared to the situation in which only M. fructigena and M. laxa are present.

The Panel identified the following risk management options as highly effective in reducing:

  1. The likelihood of entry of M. fructicola: (i) certification systems for plants for planting, (ii) control of movement of fruit or propagation material consignments by legislation from infested non-European countries and (iii) management of fruit waste
  2. The likelihood of establishment of M. fructicola: (i) certification systems for plants for planting
  3. The likelihood of spread and impact of M. fructicola: (i) certification systems for plants for planting and (ii) packaging of fruit, sanitation of packaging, storage facilities and means of transport

The Panel identified the following risk management options as moderately effectives in reducing:

  1. The likelihood of entry of M. fructicola: (i) control of movement of fruit or propagation material consignments by legislation from infested European countries and (ii) limiting end use of consignments
  2. The likelihood of establishment of M. fructicola: (i) cultural practices and chemical control, (ii) control of movement of fruit or propagation material consignments by legislation from infested European countries, (iii) limiting end use of consignments, (iv) sanitation measures (phytosanitary measures) of fruit or propagation material consignments, and (v) management of fruit waste.
  3. The likelihood of spread of M. fructicola: (i) cultural practices and chemical control, (ii) monitoring and surveillance of growing crop, (iii) postharvest inspection of fruit, (iv) sanitation measures (phytosanitary measures) of fruit or propagation material consignments, and (v) management of fruit waste
  4. The impact of of M. fructicola: (i) cultural practices and chemical control, (ii) monitoring and surveillance of growing crop, (iii) postharvest inspection of fruit, and (iv) sanitation measures (phytosanitary measures) of fruit or propagation material consignments

Other available measures (postharvest treatment of fruit, visual inspection of fruit or plants for planting in orchard, biological control and resistant cultivars) have been considered by the Panel scarcely effective in reducing the risk to plant health posed by this organism.

Regarding the evaluation of the effectiveness of the special requirements linked to M. fructicola presently listed in Annex IV, Part A, Section I of Council Directive 2000/29/EC, the Panel recommends considering the following aspects:

  1. M. fructicola is listed in Annex I, Part A, Section I, as a harmful organism not known to occur in any part of the Community and relevant for the entire Community while it occurs on several host plants in parts of the EU territory.
  2. The special requirements linked to listing M. fructicola in Annex IV, Part A, Section I of Council Directive 2000/29/EC only partially contribute to reducing the risk of introduction of this pest into the EU territory, more specifically:

- In Art. 15 (i) the listed species (Chaenomeles Lindl., Crataegus L., Cydonia Mill., Eriobotrya Lindl., Malus Mill., Prunus L. and Pyrus L.) constitute only part of the range of the potential host plants of M. fructicola and (ii) the observation of symptoms (visual inspection) at the production site during the last complete cycle of vegetation is insufficient to determine freedom from M. fructicola.

- In Art. 16 (i) fruit Prunus L. genus is not the only one potential fruit pathway, (ii) the limitation from 15 February to 30 September doesn’t take into consideration that infected fruit can be imported from southern hemisphere before 15 February and after 30 September and stored, therefore imported fruit presents a risk all year round; (iii) inspection prior to harvest and/or export cannot ensure freedom from M. fructicola; (iv) treatment procedures prior to harvest (pre or post harvest) and/or export can reduce but not eliminate M. fructicola.

The Panel considers that other legislation, not specific for M. fructicola, but concerning – mainly – Erwinia amylovora, may also contribute to reduce the risk because of the partial overlapping of host plants.

Keywords

Blossom and twig blight, brown rot, Monilia fructicola, Prunus spp., Rosaceae, stone fruit