Pest categorisation of Xanthomonas citri pv. viticola
The EFSA Plant Health Panel performed a pest categorisation of Xanthomonas citri pv. viticola (Nayudu) Dye, a Gram-negative bacterium belonging to the Xanthomonadaceae family. The pathogen is a well-defined taxonomic unit and is the causal agent of the leaf spot and bacterial canker of Vitis vinifera. This bacterium is present in India and Brazil, where it affects table grape cultivation; the same pathogen is able to cause a disease on Azadirachta indica and on some weed species. Reports indicate that the bacterium is present in Thailand as well. The pathogen has never been reported from the EU territory and it is not included in EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072. The pathogen can be detected on its host plants using direct isolation, serological or PCR-based methods. Its identification is achieved using biochemical and nutritional assays, together with a multilocus sequence analysis based on seven housekeeping genes. The main pathway for the entry of the pathogen into the EU territory is plant propagation material. In the EU, there is large availability of host plants, with grapevine being one of the most important crops in Europe and more specifically in its Mediterranean areas. Since X. citri pv. viticola is only reported in tropical and subtropical areas (BSh and Aw climatic zones according to the Köppen–Geiger classification), there is uncertainty whether the climatic conditions in the EU territory are suitable for its establishment. Nevertheless, due to the great importance of grapevine for the EU agriculture, any disease outbreak may have a high-economic impact. Phytosanitary measures are available to prevent the introduction of the pathogen into the EU. X. citri pv. viticola satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.
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