Phytoplasma Disease

FLAVENCENCE DOREE & BOIS NOIR

In 2005 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) alerted the Canadian grape industry that Phytoplasma diseases were spreading rapidly in parts of Europe and in order to better protect the Canadian grape & wine industry more restrictive measures should be implemented on imported plants and propagating material, particularly from France and Germany. The BC Grapegrowers’ Association went on record as supporting the position of the CFIA in its decision to require hot water treatment of all grapevine material imported from France and Germany. The Board of Directors sees the spread of Phytoplasma diseases as a serious threat to the British Columbia grape and wine industry.

In December the CFIA released a notice that one plant infected with Bois noir was found in the south Okanagan. This plant was part of a larger shipment from a nursery in France. It has not yet been determined if other plants are infected.

Gayle Jesperson, Plant Pathologist for the BC Ministry of Agriculture & Lands has posted information on the Phytoplasma diseases, including information on the possible impacts, symptoms to look for, disease cycle, control and prevention. Visit the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands website: www.agf.gov.bc.ca/grape/factsheets.htm. You will want to go into ‘Info Basket’ for the article ‘Grapevine Phytoplasma Diseases’.

For the current grape import regulations you should visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website: www.inspection.gc.ca or contact your local CFIA office.