The Panelon Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Cercosporaangolensis, the fungus responsible for Pseudocercospora fruit and leaf spot of citrus, for all territories except of the Union territories defined in Article 1 point 3 of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031. C.angolensis is listed in Annex IIAI of Directive 2000/29/EC and is not known to be present in the EU. The pathogen, which has recently been reclassified as Pseudocercosporaangolensis, is a well-defined, distinguishable fungal species affecting all cultivated Citrus spp. and Fortunellajaponica plants. It is currently distributed in sub-Saharan Africa (altitudes 80-1,800m) and Yemen. Although the epidemiology of P.angolensis is not well understood, infection is favoured by warm temperatures and humidity. The current distribution of the pathogen and climate matching suggests that it might not be well adapted to Mediterranean climates. However, the pathogen is also present in arid areas of Yemen and can infect young fruit with short wetness durations. Uncertainty exists on whether and at which extent the irrigation applied to EU citrus orchards can make the microclimate favourable for P.angolensis. There are no eco-climatic factors limiting the potential spread of the pathogen in the EU. Long-distance spread occurs by wind-disseminated conidia and movement of infected plants for planting and fruit. Short-distance spread occurs via water splash and/or wind-driven rain. In the infested areas, the disease causes premature abscission of young leaves and fruit resulting in yield losses up to 50-100%. Cultural practices and chemical measures applied in the infested areas reduce inoculum but they cannot eliminate the pathogen. All criteria assessed by EFSA for consideration as a potential Union quarantine pest are met. As P.angolensis is not known to occur in the EU, this criterion assessed by EFSA to consider it as a Union regulated non-quarantine pest is not met.
- Citrus spp.
- European Union
- Pseudocercospora fruit and leaf spot
- pest distribution