Suspected Bacterial Vine Infection

Media Release - 08 November 2010

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) is investigating a report of symptoms of disease on kiwifruit vines on a North Island kiwifruit orchard. A preliminary test has suggested that a strain of the bacterial kiwifruit vine disease, Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae (Psa), may be present on some vines on the orchard.

MAFBNZ is working closely with ZESPRI, Plant & Food Research and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) to confirm whether the vine infection is Psa – this should be known by Wednesday.

Precautions have been taken to mitigate any risk of spread, including issuing a Restricted Place Notice on the orchard, while MAFBNZ and the kiwifruit industry await test results.

All parties are taking the suspected threat seriously and are acting quickly to minimise the risk. If Psa is confirmed, MAFBNZ will work with ZESPRI and NZKGI to implement an agreed action plan.

In the meantime ZESPRI is working with the industry to advise of the current situation, understand how widespread the issue may be and encourage best practice orchard hygiene. Psa carries no risks associated with human or animal health, and does not affect plants other than kiwifruit vines. This is about the health of the vines, not the health of the fruit.

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