Pest Risk Assessment Fusarium foetens
In April 2002, a PRA for Fusarium foetens was finalized after the finding of an outbreak of the fungus in November 2000 in the Netherlands on a breeding/propagation company (Baayen et al. 2002). At that time the fungus and disease had not been described before (EPPO Reporting Service 2003/14; Neubauer et al. 2002). Morphological en phylogenetic studies described the fungus as a new species, distinct from Fusarium begoniae and other species within the F. oxysporum complex (Schroers et al., 2004). The fungus causes basal rot, vein yellowing and wilting symptoms causing rapid death of its primary host plant, Begonia elatior hybrids. It was suggested to list the fungus on Annex II A2 of the EU directive 2000/29/EC and to regulate the fungus for propagation material of Begonia elatior. Since an outbreak in January 2002 on a breeding/propagation company, the fungus is under official control for propagation material by the Plant Protection Service (NPPO of the Netherlands). In 2005 Fusarium foetens was added to the EPPO Alert list (EPPO Reporting Service 2005/111). In 2007 the fungus obtained an EPPO A2 status and at present it is on the EPPO Action List. Since the first version of the PRA in April 2002, new information has become available about Fusarium foetens especially about its impact under practical conditions and possibilities to control the disease (DLV Facet, 2004; Wohanka et al., 2005; Elmer, 2008). Since the detection of the disease, breeding, propagation and retail marketing companies of Begonia elatior have taken measures to control the pest. In 2004, The Dutch Plant Protection Service detected a second outbreak in propagation material and measures were imposed for eradication. To date no other additional findings in propagation material are known in the Netherlands but the fungus is still present on companies growing pot plants for retail market. In this update of the first PRA, we especially describe the experiences with the disease and evaluate control measures taken by companies since 2002.
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