Biotech Updates

A New Test for the Anthurium Blight in Europe

June 25, 2010

The island of Reunion in France has been plagued by a bacterial disease that affects its Anthurium cut flower industry. The dieback disease or bacterial blight was brought in to the island from imported flowers from Europe. The initial symptoms of the bacterial blight  disease which are oily-looking leaf spots that turn yellow and become necrotic, can spread quickly with no curative method.

A team from the Center for Agricultural Research Development (CIRAD) in France has developed and patented a molecular detection kit based on gene amplification to control the spread of the disease. The diagnostic kit has been tested in 15 European laboratories which confirmed that the molecular detection tool is technically successful, easy to use, and very efficient. The European Organization for Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) has recommended the use of the sensitive detection kit specific to the bacterium to test imported seedlings coming into the island. Using this kit, the obligatory quarantine testing of 18 months for anthurium imports can now be reduced to 2 months.

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