Pest risk assessment made by France on Mycosphaerella eumusae considered by France as harmful in French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion - Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Plant Health

  • Authors : EFSA Panel on Plant Health

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2008

  • Journal title : EFSA Journal

  • Number : 663

  • Pages : 1-20

  • Peer-reviewed : Yes

  • ISSN : 1831-4732

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Plant Health was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on 30 pest risk assessments made by France on organisms which are considered by France as harmful in four French overseas departments, i.e. Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Réunion. In particular, the Panel was asked whether these organisms can be considered as harmful organisms for the endangered area of the above departments, in the meaning of the definition mentioned in Article 2.1.(e) of Directive 2000/29/EC and thus potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms in Directive 2000/29/EC. This document presents the opinion of the Panel on Plant Health on the simplified pest risk assessment conducted by France on Mycosphaerella eumusae with Guadeloupe and Martinique considered as endangered area. Three related fungal species within the genus Mycosphaerella induce important leaf spot diseases on Musa spp.: Mycosphaerella eumusae, M. musicola and M. fijiensis are responsible for eumusae leaf spot disease, Sigatoka leaf spot disease and black leaf streak disease, respectively. M. fijiensis and M. musicola are known to cause serious economic damage on banana. M. eumusae is a recently described species and was first detected in a survey carried out in 1992-1995 in south and south-east Asia to determine the distribution of M. fijiensis and M. musicola. The pathogen has now been found in India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Réunion, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, but its distribution may be greater than currently reported because of similarities of symptoms with the other Mycosphaerella leaf spot diseases. M. eumusae is not known to be present in the PRA area of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The Panel examined in detail the risk assessment provided, and considered the accuracy and quality of the information provided and methods applied for pest risk assessment purposes. The review was based on the principles of the International Standard on Phytosanitary Measures ISPM No. 11:Pest risk analysis for quarantine pests including analysis of environmental risks and living modified organisms (2004) by the International Plant Protection Convention (FAO, 2007b). The general conclusion of the pest risk assessment that "M. eumusae must be classified as a quarantine organism for the PRA area" is not justified by the information provided. After a detailed analysis of the material provided in the simplified version of the pest risk assessment made by France in June 2003 on M. eumusae, which is considered by France as potentially harmful to banana crops in Guadeloupe and Martinique, and an additional study of published information on M. eumusae, the Panel concludes that: In agreement with the French document, the probability of M. eumusae entering into the PRA area is low because of current phytosanitary regulations. The probability of entry will increase if the current regulations governing the import of banana material are lifted. The importation of plant propagation material, other than vitroplants, and leaves from areas affected by M. eumusae could then represent a potential pathway. Trade of unwashed or untreated banana fruit, which could be contaminated with spores, from areas where M. eumusae is present should be considered a minor pathway. The risk would increase if the fruit is accompanied by leaf material, which could harbour the pathogen. The Panel considers that, under current geographical distribution of M. eumusae (India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mauritius, Réunion and Nigeria), the pathway through wind-disseminated ascospores of M. eumusae is not likely for the PRA area of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Although the information provided in the pest risk assessment is insufficient to support the rating of establishment as "high", data obtained from other sources, specifically the dominance of M. eumusae susceptible bananas of the Cavendish subgroup in the PRA area, and the establishment of the closely related pathogen M. musicola in the PRA area, suggest that this rating may be justified. The Panel considers that the intensive growing of Cavendish banana cultivars, which are known for their high degree of susceptibility and the presence of many private plantations/gardens in the PRA area may constitute an effective source of inoculum for spread of the disease. As no information is provided in the pest risk assessment on the effects of the disease on yield or on the efficacy of control measures and such information in the scientific literature is also limited, an accurate estimation of the economic impact of the pathogen, once it establishes in the PRA area, cannot be made. However, a large fraction of Cavendish fruit produced in Martinique and Guadeloupe is exported, and therefore a significant economic impact is likely. Since M. eumusae may not be readily controllable in smallholdings and family gardens, yield losses and a potential disruption of subsistence production and consumption patterns may occur. This may have a negative social impact. The degree of uncertainty concerning geographical distribution, biology, epidemiology, control strategies, economic and social impact is not "moderate", as stated in the pest risk assessment, but "high" due to the limited information available on the pathogen and the disease both in the pest risk assessment and in the literature. The Panel concludes that should Mycosphaerella eumusae enter the PRA area, there is a high potential of establishment and a significant potential of economic impact. Therefore, the Panel agrees that M. eumusae is appropriate for evaluation of pest risk management options and can be considered as harmful for the endangered area and potentially eligible for addition to the list of harmful organisms of Directive 2000/29/EC. However, due to the lack of published data, high uncertainties remain especially regarding the yield losses that would be caused by this pathogen and the control strategies to be undertaken once established.


  • Open access : Yes

  • Document on publisher's site : open View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN150018

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