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ALERT: Citrus Canker found in South Carolina nursery

Citrus canker (a bacterial disease of citrus) was identified in Alabama in 2021. Now it has been found in a nursery in South Carolina also. Citrus canker is found throughout Florida and in limited areas of Louisiana and Texas. Accordingly, residential and commercial citrus growers in Georgia should be on the lookout for citrus canker, especially those who have recently received citrus trees from a nursery in York County, South Carolina. See included links and information below for more details.

Information below taken from USDA APHIS New Release (March 9th, 2022):

“On March 8, 2022, APHIS issued a letter to State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials to inform them of the positive confirmation of citrus canker in citrus plants from a nursery in York County, South Carolina. Between August 5, 2021, and February 17, 2022, the nursery sold potentially infected citrus plants to customers throughout the United States through online sales. No nurseries received these plants. The South Carolina nursery contacted all customers who may have received potentially infected citrus plants.

APHIS is coordinating with all affected states, and will collect and destroy citrus plants in prioritized states. These prioritized states include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.

These immediate measures are focused on protecting the U.S. citrus industry. A factsheet with additional information regarding this emergency response for citrus canker is available.

If you are a consumer and have additional questions or concerns about plants purchased from the South Carolina nursery, please contact your State Plant Health Director for more information.”

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About Jonathan Oliver

Dr. Jonathan Oliver is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. He has a 75% research and 25% extension appointment. Dr. Oliver started in his current position at the University of Georgia in mid-2017 as an extension fruit pathologist at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. His responsibilities include research and extension activities focused on pathogen biology and disease management in fruit crops grown primarily in the southern part of Georgia, including blueberries, blackberries, citrus, and other emerging fruit crops. Dr. Oliver obtained a BS degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida in 2005, and a PhD in Plant Microbe Biology from Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 2011. In addition, he has also been postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University and Auburn University. At Auburn, he characterized the interactions between the emerging bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, and its blueberry plant hosts. He currently serves as a Plant Pathology Section editor for the Southeast Regional Blueberry Integrated Management Guide.