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Subject: Citrus tristeza closterovirus outbreak in Italy
Date posted: July 29, 2003
Source: 2003 Plant Disease 87(3): 314
A well known pathogen to North American citrus growers, Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), was found in unusually high numbers in Siracusa (Sicily, Italy). Approximately 10,000 mandarin, Satsuma, and grapefruit trees were found infected with the closterovirus. Previous reports of CTV in Italy were erratic and scattered. Preliminary evidence suggests natural spread is occurring. Historical tracebacks found that all infected trees were propagated from budwood illegally imported from Spain and that the budwood may be the origin of the disease. Additional work is being conducted to determine if the virus is being vectored by aphids and which strains are present. This outbreak presents a serious threat to the Italian citrus industry.