Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogen causing several plant diseases including phoney peach disease, oleander leaf scorch and Pierce's disease. Xylella fastidiosa is presently found in California, Texas and south eastern United States, as well as Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela and other parts of Central and South America.
Pierce's disease is a disease affecting grapes, which is able to quickly kill vineyards and there is no known cure. When a vine becomes infected with the disease, the bacterium causes a gel to form in the xylem tissue of the vine, preventing water from being drawn through the vine. Leaves on vines with Pierce's disease will turn yellow and brown and will eventually drop off the vine. After a few years, the vine itself is likely to die.
The disease is often linked with the presence of glassy-winged sharpshooter. This pest is of concern because of its ability to transmit Xylella fastidiosa. With the spread of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Xylella fastidiosa has become a threat to wine and table grape industries, particularly in California. The frequent proximity of vineyards to citrus orchards compounds the threat because citrus is not only a host for the eggs of glassy-winged sharpshooter, but is also a popular over-wintering site for the insect.
Xylella fastidiosa is considered a regulated disease for imports of nursery stock. Import health standards contain measures to prevent the introduction of exotic diseases into New Zealand. The following is a summary of New Zealand's current import requirements for the main classes of Xylella fastidiosa host material:
The import health standard has specific measures in place for host material of Xylella fastidiosa; these can be found in section 188.8.131.52:
Host material must be sourced from a country free from Xylella fastidiosa. Otherwise, sourced from a Pest Free Place of Production from Xylella fastidiosa or must be tested for the disease by MAFBNZ during the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) period, prior to biosecurity release.
See importing nursery stock for additional information.
Approved Pest Free Areas
All countries are recognised as being free from Xylella fastidiosa, with the following exceptions:
Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Taiwan, United States of America, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.
Page last updated: 22 October 2008