Aug 14, 2006
Plum Pox Virus Detected in Michigan

Aggressive efforts are under way to manage the plum pox virus (PPV), which the USDA found in samples collected from a routine survey at the Michigan State University Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC) near Benton Harbor.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Michigan State University (MSU) announced the finding Aug. 14.

PPV is a plant disease that infects certain stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums. The strain identified is not known to affect cherry trees. PPV poses no human or animal health threat.

The USDA will establish a cooperative eradication program with Michigan, including conducting extensive detection and delimiting surveys; establishing a quarantine, if needed, in areas where infections are found; and removing infected orchards and other host material within the buffer area of any infection. MDA specialists are currently surveying blocks of trees in the vicinity of the infected tree to determine the extent of infection.

“We know there is no risk to non-susceptible crops, and we are collaborating with the agencies to analyze the leaf samples that are collected,”said Ray Hammerschmidt, MSU Department of Plant Pathology chairperson and coordinator of MSU Diagnostic Services. “We hope this will be an isolated situation.”

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