“In 1999, plum pox virus was discovered for the first time in North America. This discovery was within ten miles of our warehousing and shipping facility and within six miles from one of our farming operations. In the three years that followed, over 1500 acres of bearing peach, nectarine, plum and apricot orchards were removed and we were instructed, under quarantine regulations, to destroy our entire crop of stone fruit nursery stock and propagative material despite the fact that plum pox virus was never found in any of these trees. Fortunately, there was adequate compensation to carry us forward as we worked on a new plan to continue in stone fruit nursery production and marketing.
The key to the success of our retooling efforts was the collection of virus certified material located in Prosser and the now National Clean Plant Center. We were able to immediately access propagative material, and working with Dave Wilson Nursery in California, we were able to get new nursery trees produced for the establishment of a foundation block of trees in Pennsylvania. Obviously this took a number of years to accomplish, but under the direction of Dr. Ruth Welliver and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Plant Industries, we successfully established this planting over the next 3 years.
This is an example of how the National Clean Plant System had a very significant impact on not just the nursery industry, but also the broader industry. There was great concern within the peach growing community nationwide in the wake of plum pox virus. The availability of virus certified mother stock provided the assurance that growers were receiving clean plants.”
By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences, WSU News
Prosser, Wash, - As new director of the Clean Plant Center Northwest, Scott Harper will help growers stop devastating crop viruses before they gain a foothold. His top priority is to grow the Northwest's supply of virus-free fruit trees, vines and hops.
"The front line of the battle against viruses is clean material," said Harper, hired January 3 to run the center.
The National Clean Plant Network for Fruit Trees (NCPN-FT) assists in the production of temperate climate fruit and nut trees which are free of targeted plant pathogens and pests that cause economic harm.
NCPN-FT Tier 2 hosted by Southeast Budwood Program at Clemson University
The NCPN-FT Governing Body (Tier 2) met face-to-face in Clemson, South Carolina on November 4-5, 2015. Hosted by Dr. Simon Scott, the Southeast Budwood Program Director at Clemson University, the group discussed current trends in the use of high-throughput sequencing, and challenges in establishing priorities for retaining virus-tested G1 collections. The group also toured state-of-the-art fruit packing facilities at Titan Farms and met with members of the Peach Council.
Maher Al Rwahnih, a project scientist with Foundation Plant Services, has won the Lee M. Hutchins Award from the American Phytopathological Society. The award is given to the author of published research on the diseases of perennial fruit plants.
Recent NCPN-affiliated publications on fruit tree viruses:
Villamor, D., Mekuria, T, Pillai, S.S., and Eastwell, K. 2016. High throughput sequencing identifies novel viruses in nectarine: Insights to the etiology of stem pitting disease. Phytopathology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-07-15-0168-R
the etiology of stem pitting disease. Phytopathology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-07-15-0168-R