Official Pest Report

Official Pest Reports are provided by National Plant Protection Organizations within the NAPPO region. These Pest Reports are intended to comply with the International Plant Protection Convention's Standard on Pest Reporting, endorsed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures in March 2002.

Detection of Sweet Orange Scab (Elsinoë australis) in Florida and Arizona

Country: United States

Title: Detection of Sweet Orange Scab (Elsinoë australis) in Florida and Arizona

Leon Bunce, Eastern Regional Program Manager, at (919) 855-7360, or Deborah McPartlan, National Program Manager, at (301) 734-5356

Report: On January 10, 2011, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (MDL) confirmed Sweet Orange Scab (SOS) in a sample taken from a tangerine grove in Maricopa County, Arizona. APHIS issued an Emergency Action Notification (EAN) and initiated delimitation surveys.

On December 23, 2010, MDL confirmed SOS in two samples of citrus fruit submitted from Florida. The first sample was taken from a grapefruit tree in a campground in Lakeland, Polk County. The second sample was collected from a bitter orange tree at a residence in Weston, Broward County. Subsequently, on January 10, 2011, MDL confirmed SOS from a sample taken from a tangerine tree in a residential area of Sarasota County, Florida. To date, there have been no detections in commercial groves. In response to these finds, APHIS issued EANs to the property owners in Polk and Sarasota Counties requiring that fruit, leaves, branches, and other plant parts remain on the property. The bitter orange tree in Broward County has been removed.

APHIS is working closely with the Florida and Arizona Departments of Agriculture to determine the extent of the infestations.

APHIS confirmed the first U.S. detections of the disease in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi in July 2010. In response to these detections, APHIS issued a Federal Order (FO) on December 22, 2010, establishing quarantine areas for the entire States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. APHIS is revising the FO to reflect the detections in Arizona and Florida.

SOS is a fungal disease of citrus that results in unsightly, scab-like lesions developing on fruit rinds. The pathogen can be spread long distances within infected nursery stock and other plant parts.

Under IPPC Standards, Elsinoë australis is considered to be a pest that is transient, actionable, and under surveillance in the United States.

Posted Date: Jan. 21, 2011, 9 a.m.