Virus found in kiwifruit vines classified as non-regulated

03 September 2015

In May 2014 a plant virus in the family Betaflexiviridae was detected in kiwifruit vines held in Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ). MPI investigated this detection and concluded that the organism presents a low to zero biosecurity risk and have classified it as non-regulated organism (meaning it is not under official control).

Testing of plant material imported from the same region in China indicated the virus was present in historically imported seed possibly going back as far as 1996.

Some plants released to Plant & Food Research (PFR) in Te Puke from the same import permit tested positive for Betaflexiviridae. However, wider testing on other PFR operations in Motueka and Kerikeri, where plants were sourced from similar origins, tested negative.

KVH and PFR have worked alongside MPI in this investigation and jointly funded a significant amount of research to better understand the organism, its distribution and means of spread.

A small number of plants known to be infected with Betaflexiviridae have been removed.

A fact sheet on Betaflexiviridae is available on the KVH website here.