Award

2004 Improved citrus canker and plum pox eradication and sampling technologies Southeast

Citrus canker (CC), a bacterial disease, hashad a tremendous impact on the Florida citrusindustry, which has lost 1.77 millioncommercial and 632,000 dooryard trees toeradication efforts from 1995 to date. Totaleradication costs are expected to exceed $500million in 2004. Dr. Tim Gottwald determinedthat the eradication policy of removing allpotentially infected citrus trees within 125feet of known infected treeswas inadequate to curtail theCC epidemic. Dr. Gottwaldconducted a study with theAnimal Plant HealthInspection Service, theFlorida Department ofAgriculture and ConsumerServices, and the Universityof Florida to find a potentialsolution. According to thestudy’s results, potentiallyinfected trees should beremoved within 1,900 feet ofknown infected trees toachieve eradication.The new methodology hasbeen deployed statewide inFlorida to detect CC outbreaks prior todisease spread. Less commercial and urbantree destruction will result in an anticipatedsavings of hundreds of millions of dollars.The outgrowth of this methodology was theInternational Standards for PhytosanitaryMeasures, which requires foreign citrusproducers to comply for detection of CC and other diseases. This ensures that foreign fruitimported into the U.S. does not carry exoticpathogens and will not contribute to newdisease introductions.In a similar manner, Plum Pox Virus (PPV)threatens the commercial stone fruit industriesof the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Gottwald assessedthe epidemic in Ontario, Canada, and authoreda multiphase threshold-based plum poxeradication protocol,which was adopted asthe operational basisof Canada’seradication program.In addition, Dr.Gottwald adapted thehierarchical sampling(HS) method for plumpox, providing thebasis for the U.S. andCanadian nationalsurvey programs for PPV.The result of theseinnovativetechnologies is thecontinued and improved protection of Americanagriculture and, indirectly, the agriculture of otherfruit producing countries, and the ensuredmaintenance of open domestic and internationalcommerce of citrus and stone fruit.
Award Year: 
Region: 
Southeast