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Pest categorisation of Sphaerulina musiva

Michael Jeger, Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Jean‐Claude Grégoire, Josep A. Jaques Miret, Alan MacLeod, Maria N. Navarro, Björn Niere, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Gregor Urek, Ariena Van Bruggen, Wopke Van der Werf, Jonathan West, Stephan Winter, Johanna Boberg, Paolo Gonthier, Marco Pautasso

Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Plant Health Panel performed a pest categorisation of Sphaerulina musiva, a well‐defined and distinguishable fungal species of the family Mycosphaerellaceae. Following a recent phylogenetic analysis of the genus Septoria and other closely related genera, a new name (S. musiva) was introduced for the species. The former species name Mycosphaerella populorum is used in the Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The pathogen is regulated in Annex IAI as a harmful organism whose introduction into the EU is banned. S. musiva is reported from North and South America and not known to occur in the EU. S. musiva causes Septoria leaf spots and cankers of poplar (Populus spp.). Of the poplars native to Europe, Populus nigra is reported as susceptible and Populus tremula as susceptible when planted in North America. The hybrid Populus x canadensis (arising from a cross of P. nigra and the North American Populus deltoides), widely grown in the EU, is also susceptible. The pest could enter the EU on plants for planting, cut branches, isolated bark and wood with and without bark. S. musiva could establish in the EU, as hosts are common and favourable climatic conditions are widespread, and could spread following establishment by natural dispersal and movement of infected plants for planting, cut branches, isolated bark and wood with or without bark. The pest introduction would have impacts in woodlands, plantations and nurseries. The pathogen is considered the most serious disease affecting hybrid poplar production in North America. Selection, breeding and planting of resistant species and clones are the main methods used to control the damage caused by the pathogen. There is some uncertainty on the geographical distribution of the pest in the Caucasus, the Crimean Peninsula and South America and on the level of susceptibility among Populus species native to Europe as well as Salix spp. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met. For regulated non‐quarantine pests, the criterion on the pest presence in the EU is not met.

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Conclusions. [...]
Identity of the pest ▹ The identity of the pest as a species is clear.
[...]
Absence/presence of the pest in the EU territory ▹ The pest is not reported to be present in the EU [...]
Regulatory status ▹ S. musiva is regulated by Council Directive 2000/29/EC (Annex IAI, as Mycosphaerella populorum) as a harmful organism whose introduction into and spread within all Member States shall be banned.
[...]
Pest potential for entry, establishment and spread in the EU territory ▹ Entry: the pest could enter the EU via plants for planting, cut branches, wood (with and without bark) and isolated bark.
Establishment: hosts and favourable climatic conditions are widespread in the risk assessment (RA) area.
Spread: the pest would be able to spread following establishment by various means, i.e. plants for planting, cut branches, wood (with and without bark) and isolated bark.
[...]
Plants for planting are not the main means of spread, as the pathogen can also spread via cut branches, wood (with and without bark) and isolated bark.
[...]
It is unclear whether the pathogen is established in the Caucasus and on the Crimean Peninsula and how widespread the fungus is in South America. [...]
Potential for consequences in the EU territory ▹ The pest introduction would have economic and environmental impacts in woodlands, poplar plantations and nurseries.
[...]
The pest introduction would have an impact on the intended use of plants for planting.
[...]
There is uncertainty about the susceptibility level of some poplar species native to Europe (e.g. P. alba, P. tremula). [...]
Available measures ▹ Selection, breeding and planting of resistant species and clones are the main methods used to control the damage caused by the pathogen.
[...]
Production of plants for planting in pest‐free areas can prevent pest presence on plants for planting.
[...]
The effectiveness of debarking as a measure to eliminate the pest from wood is unclear. [...]
Conclusion on pest categorisation ▹ The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential quarantine pest are met.
[...]
The criterion on the pest presence in the EU is not met. [...]
Aspects of assessment to focus on/scenarios to address in future if appropriate ▹ The main knowledge gaps concern (i) the distribution of the pathogen in South America, (ii) whether the pathogen is established in the Caucasus and on the Crimean Peninsula and (iii) the susceptibility level of Populus species native to Europe as well as Salix spp. [...]


EFSA Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4. (April 2018), e05247, https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5247 
Key: INRMM:14636146

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