Notification of amended emergency quarantine measures for Xylella

Due to a change in host range, emergency measures for Xylella will be extended to nursery stock belonging to the following plant families, from 3 August 2020:

  • Cannaceae
  • Gesneriaceae
  • Linaceae
  • Polemoniaceae
  • Resedaceae
  • Scrophulariaceae
  • Simmondsiaceae
  • Strelitziaceae
  • Tamaricaceae.

More information about these changes are located in BICON.

In 2015, the department implemented emergency quarantine measures to reduce the likelihood of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa being introduced through the importation of host planting material (excluding seeds).

What species of bacteria are targeted under the emergency measures?

The emergency measures target Xylella fastidiosa and all of its sub-species. The sub-species of X. fastidiosa including: fastidiosa, multiplex, pause, sandi, tashke and pear leaf scorch (PLS), all of which are targeted by the measures.

In this document, ‘Xylella fastidiosa’ means the species Xylella fastidiosa and all of its sub-species.

What are the measures?

The following measures apply to plant tissue cultures and nursery stock that are hosts of X. fastidiosa, and are applied in addition to current import requirements:

  • nursery stock and plant material coming from countries or regions where X. fastidiosa occurs will need to be tested offshore and certified as being free from X. fastidiosa by the government of the exporting country
  • an approved arrangement that ensures the health of plants will need to be in place for off-shore testing and certification of nursery stock from high risk countries.
  • material that do not meet the above requirements may be held and tested in an approved post- entry quarantine facility for 12 months, or nursery stock material may be hot water treated, followed by standard post- entry quarantine screening arrangements.

Details of the required measures for tissue culture are outlined in Appendix 1 and for other forms of nursery stock in Appendix 2. Appendices 1 and 2 provide the amended additional declarations required on Phytosanitary Certificates. These emergency measures apply to all the plant species in the listed regulated families of plants (refer to Appendix 3).

Approved arrangements for the production of nursery stock in high risk countries are outlined in Appendix 4.  Details of testing and sampling are provided in Appendix 5.

List of appendices

Appendix 1

Import conditions for tissue cultures of species from regulated families

Appendix 2

Import conditions for Nursery stock - cuttings, rooted plants, budwood, and some corms and bulbs

Appendix 3

Plant families regulated for Xylella fastidiosa

Appendix 4

Approved arrangements for nursery stock from countries with a higher risk of Xylella fastidiosa

Appendix 5

Requirements for PCR testing under Australia’s emergency measures for Xylella fastidiosa

Phased implementation of the emergency measures

Australia introduced emergency measures in several phases:

Phase 1 - Additional measures for i dentified X. fastidiosa host species from high risk X. fastidiosa countries were implemented on 19 November 2015.

The high risk countries are:

  • All countries in the Americas including the Caribbean
  • All countries in Europe
  • India
  • Iran
  • Lebanon
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey.

Phase 2 - Additional measures for identified X. fastidiosa host species from low risk X. fastidiosa countries were introduced on 19 January 2016.

Phase 3 - Addition of Israel as a high risk X. fastidiosa country on 6 July 2019.

Phase 4 - Due to new information on the host range of X. fastidiosa, additional measures will be introduced to nine additional plant families on 3 August 2020.

Will there be further change to the import conditions?

The department continues to work closely with stakeholders to minimise the disruption to trade. The emergency measures will be reviewed and evolve as information on the spread of the bacteria and host range becomes clearer. A BICON Alert will be issued to notify of any significant changes to import conditions.

Further information

If you require further information to the above information, please email us at imports (please title your email with ‘Plant T2 - Xylella emergency conditions’).


Appendix 1. Tissue cultures of species from regulated families

Country category

Off-shore certification

On-shore action if the Phytosanitary Certificate is acceptable
(see note 3)

On-shore measures for consignments without an acceptable Phytosanitary Certificate

High risk countries

A Phytosanitary Certificate with the following Additional Declaration or equivalent words:
“All tissue cultures in this consignment were  derived from mother tissue cultures that were tested by PCR and found free of Xylella fastidiosa as indicated on laboratory test report number ......... (insert number/code here).”
(See note 4)

All other current import conditions for the plant species will apply

Tissue cultures must be de-flasked and grown for a minimum of 12 months in a  government PEQ (see note 1) before testing by PCR. All plants will be tested. A positive detection of Xylella fastidiosa will result in destruction of the consignment.
All other current import conditions for the plant species will apply.
OR
Export or disposal

All other countries and regions

A Phytosanitary Certificate with the following Additional Declaration or equivalent words:
“Tissue cultures in this consignment were derived from plants and tissue cultures that were grown only in ..........(insert country) which is free from Xylella fastidiosa

All other current import conditions for the plant species will apply.

Tissue cultures must be de-flasked and grown for a minimum of 12 months in PEQ (private or government) (see note 1) before testing by PCR. All plants will be tested. A positive detection of Xylella fastidiosa will result in destruction of the consignment.
All other current conditions for the plant species will apply.
OR
Export or disposal

Appendix 2. Nursery stock - cuttings, rooted plants, budwood, and some corms and bulbs

Country category
(see note 5)

Off-shore certification

Action if the Phytosanitary Certificate is acceptable
(see note 3)

On-shore measures for consignments that come without an acceptable Phytosanitary Certificate

High risk countries

A Phytosanitary Certificate with the following Additional Declaration or equivalent words:
“Plant material in this consignment was produced under an arrangement approved by the National Plant Protection Organisation  in accordance with Australian requirements. Plant material in this consignment was tested by PCR and found free of Xylella fastidiosa as indicated on laboratory test report number......... (insert number/code here).”

(See note 2)

Current import conditions for the plant species apply.

Plants will be grown for a minimum of 12 months in government PEQ (see note 1) before testing by PCR. All plants will be tested. A positive detection of Xylella fastidiosa will result in destruction of the consignment.
All other current conditions for the plant species will apply.
OR
Plants will be hot-water treated at 50°C for 45 minutes. Following treatment, all other conditions for the plant species will apply.
OR
Re-export or destroy.

All other countries and regions

A Phytosanitary Certificate with the following Additional Declaration:
“Plant material in this consignment and its parent stock were grown only in ..........(insert country) which is free from Xylella fastidiosa

Current import conditions for the plant species apply.

Plants will be grown for a minimum of 12 months in PEQ (private or government) (see note 1) before testing by PCR. All plants will be tested. A positive detection of Xylella fastidiosa will result in destruction of the consignment. All other current conditions for the plant species will apply.
OR
Plant will be hot-water treated at 50°C for 45 minutes. Following treatment, all other conditions for the plant species will apply.
OR
Re-export or destroy.

Notes

  1. There are scheduled fees associated with the growth of nursery stock in an Australian Government post- entry quarantine facility, which must be met by the importer. The importer is responsible for contacting the facility to confirm all arrangements, including space availability and number of plants, prior to the plant material arriving in Australia. Importers must clearly nominate the facility that their material will be sent to on the import permit application.
  2. Nursery stock and tissue cultures from high risk countries must be produced through an arrangement approved by the National Plant Protection Organisation of the exporting country to meet Australia’s requirements (Appendix 4). These arrangements have also been distributed to NPPOs through the IPPC notification (https://www.ippc.int/en/)
  3. The department will reserve the right to undertake testing to verify that a consignment is free of X. fastidiosa.
  4. PCR tests that will detect X. fastidiosa including recognised sub-species. PCR testing will require the following two tests:
    1. the rimM gene sequence real-time PCR test of Harper et al. (2010),1,
      AND
    2. the conventional PCR of Minsavage et al. (1994)2 or an equivalent PCR that detects X. fastidiosa sub-species pear leaf scorch (PLS).
  5. The department will temporarily delay implementation of X. fastidiosa emergency conditions for affected host certified bulbs (Narcissus, Hyacinths and Hippeastrum) produced under the Bloembollenkeuringsdienst (BKD) scheme from Netherlands . The department will continue to collaborate with the NPPO, to determine if alternative approved arrangements can be established for both certified and non-certified bulbs.

Appendix 3: Plant families regulated for Xylella fastidiosa.

* indicates families that will be regulated for Xylella from 3 August 2020.

Acanthaceae Celastraceae Linaceae* Portulacaceae
Adoxaceae Cistaceae Lythraceae Proteaceae
Altingiaceae Clethraceae Magnoliaceae Ranunculaceae
Amaranthaceae Commelinaceae Malpighiaceae Resedaceae*
Amaryllidaceae Convolvulaceae Malvaceae Rhamnaceae
Anacardiaceae Cornaceae Meliaceae Rosaceae
Annonaceae Cucurbitaceae Montiaceae Rubiaceae
Apiaceae Cupressaceae Moraceae Rutaceae
Apocynaceae Cyperaceae Myrtaceae Salicaceae
Aquifoliaceae Ebenaceae Nyctaginaceae Sapindaceae
Araliaceae Elaeagnaceae Oleaceae Scrophulariaceae*
Arecaceae Equisetaceae Onagraceae Simmondsiaceae*
Asparagaceae Ericaceae Orobanchaceae Solanaceae
Asteraceae Escalloniaceae Oxalidaceae Strelitziaceae*
Balsaminaceae Euphorbiaceae Passifloraceae Talinaceae
Berberidaceae Fabaceae Paulowniaceae Tamaricaceae*
Betulaceae Fagaceae Phytolaccaceae Theaceae
Bignoniaceae Geraniaceae Pinaceae Ulmaceae
Boraginaceae Gesneriaceae* Pittosporaceae Urticaceae
Brassicaceae Ginkgoaceae Plantaginaceae Verbenaceae
Bromeliaceae Hamamelidaceae Platanaceae Vitaceae
Cannabaceae Hydrangeaceae Poaceae Xanthorrhoeaceae
Cannaceae* Juglandaceae Polemoniaceae* Zygophyllaceae
Caprifoliaceae Lamiaceae Polygalaceae  
Caryophyllaceae Lauraceae Polygonaceae  

Appendix 4: Approved arrangements for nursery stock from countries with a higher risk of Xylella fastidiosa (Pierce’s disease) 

These requirements are for arrangements approved under Australia’s emergency measures for Xylella fastidiosa. The requirements apply to nursery stock of plants exported from high risk countries as indicated in this BICON alert. These requirements do not apply to imports of true botanical seeds.

The National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of the exporting country will approve the arrangements and ensure that Australia’s requirements are met. Several other parties, including the grower and testing laboratory will need to work with the NPPO to do this.  It is anticipated that the supplier will contact the NPPO of the exporting country to establish the arrangements. Australian importers should contact their overseas suppliers to ensure that the work is initiated for the arrangements.

This document describes the overarching systems and processes to ensure that nursery stock that is produced for export to Australia is grown, tested and confirmed free from infection by X. fastidiosa.  The roles and responsibilities of the key parties involved in the arrangements are also described, as are the requirements for sampling and testing. The exporter and the testing laboratory should verify Australia’s requirements before testing is commenced. The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources retains the right to monitor the arrangements by auditing and by sampling and testing consignments after they arrive in Australia.

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The arrangements

The arrangements require the following elements:

  1. Propagation, growth, testing, certification and export under the authority of the NPPO of the exporting country
  2. The facility where plants are grown is insect-proof so that it excludes all insects of the suborder Auchenorrhyncha (leafhoppers, froghoppers, sharpshooters, spittlebugs and treehoppers)
  3. Plants for export to Australia are grown for their entire life in the facility regardless of the propagation technique used (e.g. plants grown from seed, grown vegetatively or grown in tissue culture).
  4. All the mother plants are tested by the approved protocol (Appendix 5)
      • nursery stock – the mother plants that are the immediate source from which the nursery stock plant lot was propagated are tested
      • tissue cultures –the mother tissue cultures that are the immediate source from which the nursery stock plant lot was propagated are tested
    • The mother plants have been grown under the arrangement, in the facility, for 12 months before they are tested (Diagram 1)
        • nursery stock – the mother plants are protected in the facility for 12 months before testing
        • tissue cultures – the mother tissue culture line is protected and propagated in the facility for 12 months before testing
      • Prior to export, an official sample is drawn from the plant lot and tested according to the approved protocol for X. fastidiosa in Appendix 5. Appendix 5 contains details of sampling and sample size
      • Plant consignments are packed and packaged to prevent infection by X. fastidiosa
      • Phytosanitary certificates issued by the NPPO with additional declarations including information that enables tracing of plant lines for export to Australia to test results and the facility in which the lines were grown.

Roles and responsibilities

The NPPO

The NPPO will provide oversight of the arrangements to ensure that they meet Australia’s requirements. The NPPO is responsible for approving facilities or authorising any independent entities that approve facilities on its behalf.  The NPPO may be requested by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to provide records relevant to the approval and management of the arrangements.

The NPPO or an entity acting under the authority of the NPPO will:

  • Inspect the production facility to confirm that:
    • phytosanitary requirements are met
    • the facility is insect proof
    • the facility is constructed and equipped to achieve requirements
    • records are maintained by the producer or the facility
  • Approve the facility under the arrangement
    • audit the facility and records
  • Approve sampling of mother plants by the grower for testing or take samples of mother plants
  • Take official samples of the plant lot for testing
  • Maintain records of:
    • approved facilities
    • audits of facilities
    • phytosanitary practices within facilities
    • laboratory tests for X. fastidiosa
  • Certify that plants exported to Australia are free from X. fastidiosa. This will be based on evidence of systems that confirm:
    • plants were kept in the registered facility throughout their life, from propagation to export
    • testing has been undertaken by a competent laboratory and laboratory reports have been sighted
  • Phytosanitary Certificates must include:
    • additional declarations that indicate the status of the plant lot
    • the facility approval code/number
    • the laboratory report code/number

The grower

The grower will ensure that:

  • phytosanitary conditions for Australia are met
  • plants are appropriately tested by an approved testing laboratory
  • provide samples of mother plants for testing, if approved by NPPO
  • the facility is free from X. fastidiosa
  • the facility is insect-proof.

The grower will also ensure that

  • complete records are maintained of :
  • plant lot identifying numbers or codes
  • the parentage of the exported plant lots
  • dates that plants are introduced to the facility
  • mother plants, i.e. plants that are the immediate propagation source from which plant lots were propagated
  • pathogens detected in plants in the facility
  • arthropods found in the facility
  • any plant material destroyed and the reason for the destruction
  • all plants destined for export to Australia are transported in insect-proof closed containers or packaging.

The testing laboratory

The testing laboratory is approved by the NPPO as competent to undertake the testing required by Australia, using the prescribed testing methods (Appendix 5).

It will:

  • use the approved test protocol (Appendix 5)
  • record the plant lots or mother plants that are tested and the number of samples tested
  • provide the evidence of tests, results and operating processes to the NPPO, as required.

Diagram 1

Diagram showing approved arrangement management system for host nursery stock grown in a high risk country for Xylella fastidiosa

Appendix 5: Requirements for PCR testing under Australia’s emergency measures for Xylella fastidiosa 

This appendix provides the requirements for PCR testing under approved arrangements to meet Australia’s emergency measures for Xylella fastidiosa.

The testing will be required for nursery stock, including budwood, cuttings, rooted plants, bulbs and corms. Testing will use the PCR protocols outlined below.

Testing should be undertaken when the bacteria are most likely to be detected - which is when leaves are mature, before senescence, and typically from late summer or in autumn for perennials.

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PCR tests

PCR testing will require the following two tests:

  1. the rimM gene sequence real-time PCR test from Harper et al. (2010)1,
    AND
  2. the conventional PCR from Minsavage et al. (1994)2 or an equivalent PCR that detects X. fastidiosa sub-species pear leaf scorch (PLS).

Material to be tested

  • all the mother plants must be tested for X. fastidiosa, i.e. the mother tissue cultures or the mother plants that are the immediate source from which the nursery stock plant lot was propagated

AND

  • prior to export (up to 8 weeks before), an official sample will be drawn from the plant lot and will be tested for X. fastidiosa
  • mother plants or mother tissue cultures will have been grown under the arrangement, within the facility, for 12 months before testing.

Samples from plants

  • when testing the sample from the plant lot, the sample size (number of units) will be set according to Table 1 in ISPM 313 and will be sufficient to detect, with a 95% confidence level, that X. fastidiosa is not present in more than 0.5% (level of detection) of each lot, with the units defined as individual plants.
  • two tissue samples per unit will be tested from tissue cultures, bulbs and corms
  • three tissue samples per unit will be tested from nursery stock plants and cuttings
  • samples must include mid-ribs of leaves, if the plant has leaves
  • if the material lacks leaves, then living tissue with vascular structures will be sampled

Note:  a unit is a tissue culture plantlet, nursery stock plant, a bulb or a corm.

Bulking of samples for testing

  • DNA extracted from up to 10 samples may be tested in a single PCR as a pool or batch, where a sample is defined as a single piece of tissue
  • samples from different species should not be pooled

Positive controls

  • house-keeping gene positive controls must be run for each batch of tests to confirm that the DNA was extracted successfully
  • house-keeping positive controls must be run for each different plant species

Record keeping and certification

  • the laboratory must record the plant lots and mother plants that are tested and the number of samples tested
  • NPPO must verify the laboratory report and retain a copy
  • the identifying code or number of the laboratory report must be provided on the Phytosanitary Certificate

References

  • Harper, S. J., Ward, L. I., and Clover, G. R. G. (2010). Development of LAMP and real-time PCR methods for the rapid detection of Xylella fastidiosa for quarantine and field applications. Phytopathology 100:1282-1288.
  • Minsavage, G.V., Thompson, C.M., Hopkins, D.L., Leite, M.V.B.C. and Stall, R.E. (1994) Development of a Polymerase Chain Reaction protocol for detection of Xylella fastidiosa in plant tissue. Phytopathology 84: 456-461.
  • ISPM 31 in International Standards for Phytosanitary Methods, No. 1 to 32 (2009), the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. pp. 401–420. https://www.ippc.int/en/publications/588/

Version history

Date Description
13 January 2016 Publication of webpage to support the introduction of emergency measures for Xylella.
6 July 2019 Content updated to include Israel as a high risk country.
13 July 2020 Content updated advising that additional plant families will require regulation for Xylella.
​​
Last reviewed: 13 July 2020
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