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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613678

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Strategies to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major european fruit crops from pests and pathogens

Pathways of introduction of fruit pests and pathogens

What are the mechanisms of spread in the case of bacterial pathogens?
The area of origin, the spread through natural vectors (rain droplets, pollinators) and through human activities are elucidated using molecular fingerprinting and traditional methods. In addition, labelled bacteria coupled with confocal laser-scanning microscopy are used in model experiments to get more information. The possibility of pathogen dispersal between and within the orchards through wind and rain using Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae as an example is assessed. The actual and potential spread and distribution of bacterial species (Pseudomonas spp., Xanthomonas spp.) in Europe will be investigated using models as described for D. suzukii.

Which pests and pathogens present a high risk of introduction into the EU with the fruit trade?
An alert list of pests and pathogens likely to be introduced into Europe with the fruit trade is produced. To take account of past events, a review based on official information (NPPOs, EPPO) and literature research is prepared that identifies pests and pathogens with relation to fruit imports recorded in Europe during the last 10-15 years. Criteria to select crops of interest for pathway risk analyses have been discussed (trade: quantity, value, emerging markets; area of production in the EU) and a list of fruit species, for which alert lists of pests are produced (starting with apples and Vaccinium berries) has been agreed upon.

Which method (model) is suitable to analyse the risk associated with pathways for fruit pests and pathogens?
A pathway risk analysis of fruit imports into Europe is carried out. A generic quantitative model for pathway analyses is under development in cooperation with EFSA. The purpose of the model is to identify locations and end use (processing and retail), which are associated with a high risk of transfer of a specified pest from the imported commodity to the agricultural production within the EU. The model is applied initially to one of the DROPSA examples identified in other DROPSA tasks.

How can an introduction of new fruit pests and diseases be prevented?
Using the results from tasks 1.3 and 1.4, risk based strategies to reduce the risk of introduction of new fruit pests and diseases into Europe are developed. Such strategies include the identification of countries and products representing a high risk potential, infective inspection methods for fruit imports and an increase of awareness of current risks in the fruit industry. In parallel with the economic assessment, the economic criteria are applied to evaluate the strategies and to underpin recommendations.

Gritta Schrader
Julius Kühn Institut, Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen (Germany)
(Julius Kuehn Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants)
Institut für nationale und internationale Angelegenheiten der Pflanzengesundheit (Germany)
(Institute for National and International Plant Health)