Keeping Ceratocystis out

20 July 2023

Strict controls aimed at preventing Ceratocystis species – one of kiwifruit’s most unwanted biosecurity threats - from entering New Zealand have been highlighted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

In the latest Plant Health and Environment Laboratories (PHEL) newsletter, MPI profile Ceratocystis, an exotic pathogen with many strains that are known to infect trees and have a wide range of hosts. Examples include our often mentioned kiwifruit decline in Brazil, caused by the strain known as Ceratocystis fimbriata.

As well as our own industry readiness planning, there are strict controls in place via MPI to stop Ceratocystis from getting in. For example, all imported host plant material (and local samples that are suspected to be possibly infected) are tested using a real-time assay that enables detection and identification of any species.

Read more from the MPI newsletter here.

Image: Characteristic wood discolouration caused by Ceratocystis (Photo: Manfred Mielke, USDA Forest Service).