EPPO Platform
on PRAs

Pest categorisation of Pantoea ananatis


The EFSA Plant Health Panel performed a pest categorisation of Pantoea ananatis, a Gram-negative bacterium belonging to the Erwiniaceae family. P. ananatis is a well-defined taxonomic unit; nonetheless, its pathogenic nature is not well defined and non-pathogenic populations are known to occupy several, very different environmental niches as saprophytes, or as plant growth promoting bacteria or biocontrol agents. It is also described as a clinical pathogen causing bacteraemia and sepsis or as a member of the gut microbiota of several insects. P. ananatis is the causal agent of different diseases affecting numerous crops: in particular, centre rot of onion, bacterial leaf blight and grain discoloration of rice, leaf spot disease of maize and eucalyptus blight/dieback. A few insect species have been described as vectors of P. ananatis, among them, Frankliniella fusca and Diabrotica virgifera virgifera. This bacterium is present in several countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Oceania from tropical and subtropical regions to temperate areas worldwide. P. ananatis has been reported from the EU territory, both as pathogen on rice and maize and as an environmental, non-pathogenic bacterium in rice marshes and poplar rhizosoil. It is not included in EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072. The pathogen can be detected on its host plants using direct isolation, or PCR-based methods. The main pathway for the entry of the pathogen into the EU territory is host plants for planting, including seeds. In the EU, there is a large availability of host plants, with onion, maize, rice and strawberry being the most important ones. Therefore, disease outbreaks are possible almost at any latitude, except in the most northern regions. P. ananatis is not expected to have frequent or consistent impact on crop production and is not expected to have any environmental impact. Phytosanitary measures are available to mitigate the further introduction and spread of the pathogen into the EU on some hosts. The pest does not satisfy the criteria, which are within the remit for EFSA to evaluate whether the pest meets the definition of a Union quarantine pest. P. ananatis is probably widely distributed in different ecosystems in the EU. It may impact some specific hosts such as onions while on other hosts such as rice it has been reported as a seed microbiota without causing any impact and can even be beneficial to plant growth. Hence, the pathogenic nature of P. ananatis is not fully established.


  • Diabrotica virgifera virgifera
  • Frankliniella fusca
  • Pantoea ananatis


  • Aglaonema nitidum
  • Allium cepa
  • Amaranthus deflexus
  • Ananas
  • Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis
  • Cenchrus echinatus
  • Citrus reticulata
  • Cucumis melo
  • Cucumis sativus
  • Digitaria horizontalis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fragaria x ananassa
  • Mangifera indica
  • Prunus persica
  • Sorghum bicolor
  • Sorghum x drummondii
  • Syngonium podophyllum
  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Zea mays
  • Zingiber officinale


Type File Size
Pest Risk Analysis Link to file

PRA Area

  • EU
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden