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Biosecurity Advice 2018-19 - Release of the draft report for Pepino mosaic virus and Pospiviroids associated with tomato seed

8 August 2018

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the draft report for the pest risk analysis for Pepino mosaic virus and pospiviroids associated with tomato seed.

This draft report proposes risk management measures to address the risk from Pepino mosaic virus and the pospiviroids associated with seed of tomato, which are currently subject to emergency measures. The proposed measures mitigate the risks posed by these seed-borne pathogens to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

The draft report is being issued for a 60 calendar day public consultation period.  Stakeholders are invited to submit written comments by 8 October 2018.

This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders that the department has completed a draft pest risk analysis for Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) and pospiviroids associated with tomato seed.

The department announced the commencement of the pest risk analysis on 22 March 2018 (via Biosecurity Advice 2018/04).

In 2008, following incursions of Potato spindle tuber viroid in tomato crops, emergency measures were imposed on imports of seed of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and wild tomato (Solanum chilense, S. chmielewskii, S. parviflorum, S. peruvianum and S. pimpinellifolium). The emergency measures have remained in place since that time, but they were amended in 2012 and 2013 to require laboratory testing and to mitigate the risk from a further six pathogens. This pest risk analysis was initiated to assess the risks, evaluate the emergency measures and ensure any ongoing phytosanitary measures are technically justified.

The draft report presents pest risk assessments for PepMV and five pospiviroid species: Columnea latent viroid, Pepper chat fruit viroid, Tomato apical stunt viroid, Tomato chlorotic dwarf viroid and Tomato planta macho viroid.  These plant pathogens damage the avocado, capsicum, potato and tomato industries in other countries.

The draft report proposes a range of risk management measures to mitigate the risks posed by PepMV and the pospiviroids associated with imports of tomato seed. The proposed measures include mandatory laboratory testing or mandatory laboratory testing combined with dry heat treatment. Verification of laboratory testing is also proposed to ensure the reliability of the measures.

Potato spindle tuber viroid is not assessed in this pest risk analysis, even though it is a pospiviroid associated with tomato seed. The department will evaluate the status and impacts of Potato spindle tuber viroid separately, as it is no longer considered to be a quarantine pest.

The emergency measures for PepMV and the pospiviroids will remain in place until a decision is made on final measures, which is expected in 2019.

Stakeholders are invited to have their say on the draft report. The closing date to submit comments is 8 October 2018. The department will consider all stakeholder comments received during the public consultation period in preparing a final report.
The draft report and information about the risk analysis process are available online. Printed copies of the report are available on request.

Stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service. By subscribing to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant, you will receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy, including this risk analysis

Dr Marion Healy
First Assistant Secretary
Biosecurity Plant Division

Telephone: 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1)
Email: imports