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Plum Pox Monitoring and Management Program (PPMMP) in Canada
Sidney Laboratory - Centre for Plant Health, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, North Saanich, BC. Canada, V8L 1H3
Horticulture Specialist, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, L2N 7N6;
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Program Manager – Ontario Plant Health and Biosecurity, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 4S9
Four provinces of Canada are involved in the commercial production of stone fruit crops (Prunus spp.): Ontario (77%), British Columbia (21%), Nova Scotia (1.1%), and Quebec (0.6%). Stone fruit trees are susceptible to Plum pox virus (PPV) infection, causing a disease with devastating consequences. PPV was detected in Pennsylvania, USA in 1999. Due to the close proximity and cultural relationships between the Niagara Region, Ontario and Pennsylvania, a preliminary survey was conducted. PPV was detected for the first time in Canada in the Niagara region in 2000. Subsequent delimitation surveys in all stone fruit growing regions of Canada revealed PPV positive samples only from Nova Scotia and Ontario and eventually seven regulated or quarantine areas were established; 2 in Nova Scotia and 5 in Ontario. An eradication program from 2004 – 2010 resulted in the eradication of PPV from 6 of the 7 regulated areas, meaning three consecutive years of negative test results. During the eradication program 5,807,042 samples were collected of which 2,581 tested positive (0.05% incidence). PPV was completely eradicated from Nova Scotia. A single regulated area in the Niagara region of Ontario remained at the end of the eradication program in 2010, but s significant reduction in the incidence of the virus in this remaining area was achieved. Since 2011 eradication has been discontinued and the program changed to monitoring and management of the single remaining quarantine or regulated area. Regulatory controls and best management practices are being developed and implemented in collaborative efforts with the provincial government of Ontario. Ongoing annual monitoring includes a targeted sampling plan inside (1500 m) and outside (1500 m) the quarantine boundary. Also orchard trees within a 10 km zone outside the quarantine boundary are being monitored. Any positive results within the sampling area will result in adjustment of the quarantine boundary. Between 2011 and 2013 a single positive was found, a single plum tree on a residential property. In response the quarantine boundary was adjusted. Existing regulatory activities include a ban on the propagation of regulated Prunus spp. within the quarantine area, encouragement of sourcing clean material outside the regulated area, and the prohibition of the movement of regulated Prunus spp. out of the quarantine area. The monitoring of retail outlets, landscape companies, and nurseries is ongoing to ensure that regulated Prunus spp. are not moved from the regulated area.