Confirmation of Citrus Greening in Charleston County, South Carolina
On April 2, 2009 the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and the PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST) National Plant Germplasm and Biotechnology Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland confirmed citrus greening (CG, also known as Huanglongbing or HLB and caused by the pathogen 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus') in a leaf sample from a residential property in the City of Charleston (Charleston County), South Carolina. The samples were from a mature citrus tree located at a residential property in proximity to where the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) (Diaphorina citri) was detected last August, prompting a follow-up survey of the area. This is the first confirmation of CG in the State of South Carolina.
APHIS is currently obtaining additional information concerning the source of the tree. As a result of the residential CG detection, additional delimiting and detection surveys are being conducted in the vicinity.
With the confirmation of CG in Charleston, APHIS is working with the State to take appropriate regulatory action to prevent the movement of host plants and plant material from the county. APHIS is now in the process of amending its regulations to establish Charleston County, South Carolina as a CG and ACP quarantine area. State officials are taking steps to establish a State quarantine area in parallel with Federal regulations. A Federal Order issued on September 12, 2008 established a quarantine area for ACP in Beaufort, Charleston, and Colleton Counties in South Carolina.
APHIS will continue to work closely with officials from the State to delimit the presence of both ACP and CG while developing a response and outreach plan for South Carolina.
Under IPPC Standards, 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' is considered to be a pest that is present, only in some areas, and subject to official control to limit its spread in the United States.