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Horticultural Science

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News Article

Exotic and emergent citrus viruses relevant to the Mediterranean region

Increased threats to citrus production

Citrus trees have been associated for millenia with the Mediterranean region – a region which produces 21% of the world’s citrus fruits. In addition to the threat of citrus greening (huanglongbing), which is devastating citrus trees in other parts of the world, Mediterranean citrus is also under threat from viruses destroying citrus trees on other continents.

Climate change and increased trade have increased the number of viruses and viroids affecting citrus and increased the risk of the introduction of exotic pests and pathogens, which could spread from a single Mediterranean site to the whole region.

Exotic and emergent citrus viruses relevant to the Mediterranean region reviews emerging dangerous and potential economically important citrus viruses that have not yet been reported in countries in the Mediterranean area, or are not yet regulated or are restricted to small areas.

The host range, symptoms, molecular genetics, transmission and control of citrus viruses recommended for regulation as quarantine pests (Citrus tristeza virus, Citrus tatter leaf virus [a strain of Apple stem grooving virus], Satsuma dwarf virus, Citrus leprosis viruses and Citrus yellow mosaic virus), and other viruses of significance but not yet recommended for regulation as quarantine pests (Citrus yellow vein clearing virus, Indian citrus ringspot virus, Citrus chlorotic dwarf-associated virus and Citrus sudden death-associated virus) are described.

Surveillance is highlighted as the main protection tool and the need for better detection tools and faster and larger surveys is emphasized as well as production of virus-free planting stock.

Educational programmes are recommended to help understand and share awareness, together with well-trained personnel and well-equipped laboratories for detection and surveillance, and the development of efficient communication systems with nurserymen, growers and consumers.

Search 'citrus and viruses' for research on viruses and viroids affecting citrus crops worldwide

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Alexis Rendell-Dunn
  • Date
  • 29 October 2021
  • Subject(s)
  • Tropical & subtropical fruits