Asian longhorned beetle and a cucurbit virus identified in Finland as new organisms harmful to plants

24.2.2011

<p>No dangerous plant pests or pathogens were found to be permanently present in Finland in the year 2000, as all findings could be destroyed. The Asian longhorned beetle and the zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), which infects cucurbits, were identified as new organisms harmful to plants. The number of sweet potato whitefly findings was exceptionally low in glasshouse production, whereas the tomato spotted wilt virus abundance was high. The pine wood nematode was intercepted in the wooden packaging material of three lots of imported goods.</p>

First findings of Asian longhorned beetle
The Asian longhorned beetle ( Anoplophora glabripennis) was found in the packaging material of a batch of garden tiles imported from China. A finding of the Asian longhorned beetle made in 2007 in a delivery of stones from China was also brought to the knowledge of Evira. In both cases the finding consisted of one adult beetle. The forests near the sites of the findings have been investigated for occurrence of the beetle and the monitoring will be continued in the upcoming years. The Asian longhorned beetle is a harmful pest of hardwood trees. The larvae of the beetle live inside the tree trunk and can kill the tree. The beetle is primarily transmitted in wooden packaging material.

New cucurbit virus
A new cucurbit virus, the zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), was found in one cucumber field in Finland. The origin of the virus is not known, as it has not been previously detected in Finland. There have been findings of the virus in many other EU countries, such as Holland, Germany and England. Action was ordered to be taken in the field to eradicate the virus and it was successfully destroyed.

Sweet potato whiteflies rare, but tomato spotted wilt virus plentiful under glass
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) was detected in 50 glasshouse crops, which is more than ever before. The host plants were Cape daisies in most cases. The virus gained access to the crops in infected plants imported from other EU countries. The tomato spotted wilt virus can use several glasshouse plants as its host plant. The virus could cause particularly great damage, if it spreads into tomato plantings.

The number of sweet potato whitefly ( Bemisia tabaci) findings was exceptionally low compared with previous years thanks to the plant lots imported to Finland being considerably less infested than before. Findings were made in 25 horticultural farms, while in 2009 the sweet potato whitefly was detected in 81 and in 2008 in 109 horticultural farms. No viroids were found in glasshouse plants and the pea leafminer was only detected in one horticultural farm.

Status of harmful organisms remains unchanged in outdoor horticultural production and potato farms
No occurrences of new dangerous plant pathogens were found in outdoor horticultural production. Phytophthora ramorum still persisted in rhododendrons in one nursery. The risk of it spreading from other EU countries also still exists, as it was intercepted in plant stores in seven batches of rhododendrons imported from other EU countries.

As far as potato pests and pathogens are concerned, ring rot ( Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus) was found in four new farms, and yellow potato cyst nematode ( Globodera rostochiensis) in eight new farms. The number of ring rot and yellow potato cyst nematode findings was on par with the previous years. After a break of one year, the Colorado beetle was again intercepted in one farm.

Pine wood nematodes found again in wooden packaging material
Live pine wood nematodes were found in the wooden packaging material of three lots of goods imported from USA. No dangerous plant pests were intercepted in inspections of timber imported from Russia.

More information about harmful plant pests and pathogens:
Evira.fi > Plants > Cultivation and Production > Plant pests and diseases > Quarantine pests and diseases

Table: Findings of quarantine pests and diseases in 2010-2011
Evira.fi > Plants > Cultivation and Production > Plant pests and diseases > Current issues

For more information, please contact:
Paula Lilja, Senior Officer, Evira, tel. +358 (0) 2077 25043 (outdoor horticultural production)
Raija Valtonen, Senior Officer, Evira, tel. +358 (0) 2077 25040 (glasshouse production and timber)
Atro Virtanen, Senior Officer, Evira, tel. +358 (0) 2077 25047 (potato production)

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