|Brussels, 14th January 2015
Recommendation of the Working Group on the Annexes of the Council Directive 2000/29/EC – Section II – Listing of Harmful Organisms as regards the future listing of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus 1
Current regulatory status
Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV) is currently regulated in Annex IIAI (d).12 of Council Directive 2000/29/EC on plants of Rubus L., intended for planting. It is not regulated on many other host plants.
Specific requirements are laid down as part of Annex IVAI of Council Directive 2000/29/EC as regards import of plants of Rubus L. intended for planting, originating in countries where PNRSV is known to occur; Annex VAI for plant passport ; and Annex VBI as regards phytosanitary certificate for plants which are potential carriers of harmful organisms of relevance for the entire Community.
Plants of Rubus L. are also regulated under Council Directive 2008/90/EC on the marketing of fruit plant propagating material and fruit plants intended for fruit production.
Identity of the pest
PNRSV is a well-described and well-characterised virus. Reliable molecular detection methods are available.
Distribution of the pest
PNRSV has been reported from a very wide range of countries and from all continents. PNRSV is reported in 22 EU Member States on many host plants and, given the limited symptoms it can cause in some hosts, PNRSV is probably under-reported.
The natural host range of PNRSV appears to be rather limited. It has been reported in a number of Prunus species including all cultivated species such as peach, cherry, almond and plum. As a pest, it has also been reported in hops (Humulus spp.) and in roses (Rosa spp.)
PNRSV has more potential hosts than those for which it is regulated in Annex IIAI. There are no EU records of PNRSV occurrence in its regulated Rubus spp. hosts. In addition, other specific commodities (e.g. pollen and seed) could also be a pathway of introduction of the pest in the risk assessment area.
Potential for establishment and spread in the PRA area
As is the case for other plant viruses, PNRSV is not expected to be significantly affected by local eco-climatic conditions, as long as these are suitable for the development of its host plants.
The virus is transmitted through vegetative multiplication of infected host plants. There is also evidence that PNRSV is transmitted via seeds and pollen in several natural hosts, including Prunus spp., hops (Humulus spp.) and roses (Rosa spp.), as well as in some experimental hosts such as Cucurbita maxima.
PNRSV is a common virus in Prunus spp. crops. It is present in a wide range of EU MSs and its pollen-mediated mode of dissemination makes its control difficult. The severity of symptoms varies greatly owing to virus isolates and host varieties. In addition, the existence of voluntary certification schemes for Prunus spp. reduces the impact of PNRSV by ensuring that new orchards can be planted with healthy materials. No PNRSV environmental impact is identified.
Potential for consequences in the PRA area
PNRSV causes foliar symptoms in the form of rings, green or yellow spots (shot-hole”-type symptoms) and chlorotic patterns in many of its hosts.
PNRSV has the potential to cause significant impacts on at least some of their Prunus spp. hosts. Fruit growth losses (up to 30%) and yield losses (up to 60%) have been recorded.
Most Rubus spp. do not appear to be natural hosts, there is only one single report of PNRSV in a Rubus species, Rubus ellipticus (yellow Himalayan raspberry) from India. This species is not cultivated or reported in the EU, but is considered an invasive alien species in several regions of the world. The potential effects of PNRSV infection in cultivated Rubus species therefore appear non-existent.
On the basis of the pest categorization prepared by EFSA, the Working Group suggests deregulating this pest for plants of Rubus, as this host does not belong to the natural host range affected by the pest. Therefore, the quarantine status is no longer justified.
However, it is important to list PNRSV as a Regulated Non-Quarantine Pest2 on other relevant host plants (e.g. Prunus) which are already regulated under the Marketing Directives (e.g. Council Directive 2008/90/EC and Commission Implementing Decision 2014/98/EU).
The Pest Risk Assessment of EFSA does not need to continue.