Pest categorisation of Diplodia bulgarica
The EFSA Plant Health Panel performed a pest categorisation of Diplodia bulgarica, a clearly defined plant pathogenic fungus of the family Botryosphaeriaceae. The pathogen affects Malus domestica, M. sylvestris and Pyrus communis causing various symptoms such as canker, twig blight, gummosis, pre- and post-harvest fruit rot, dieback and tree decline. The pathogen is present in Asia (India, Iran, Türkiye) and in non-EU Europe (Serbia). Concerning the EU, the pathogen is present in Bulgaria and widespread in Germany. There is a key uncertainty on the geographical distribution of D. bulgarica worldwide and in the EU, because in the past, when molecular tools were not available, the pathogen might have been misidentified as other Diplodia species (e.g. D. intermedia, D. malorum, D. mutila, D. seriata) or other members of the Botryosphaeriaceae family affecting apple and pear based only on morphology and pathogenicity tests. Diplodia bulgarica is not included in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. Plants for planting, other than seeds, fresh fruits, and bark and wood of host plants as well as soil and other plant-growing media carrying plant debris are the main pathways for the further entry of the pathogen into the EU. Host availability and climate suitability factors are favourable for the further establishment of the pathogen in the EU. In the areas of its present distribution, including Germany, the pathogen has a direct impact on cultivated hosts. Phytosanitary measures are available to prevent the further introduction and spread of the pathogen into the EU. Diplodia bulgarica satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as potential Union quarantine pest.
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