Plum Pox Potyvirus Pest Profile

Plum pox potyvirus (PPV), the cause of Sharka disease and a major threat to the Prunus industry, was recently discovered in eighteenth Pennsylvania orchards. This is the first time it has been discovered in the United States. There is no indication of any connection to California nursery stock, but a survey of susceptible hosts in California will insure that all Prunus related products are safe.

Fortunately, California's network of inspection services and various levels of quality control have provided our state with high level of confidence that PPV is not present in California.

  • California has actively regulated the movement of Prunus nursery stock into the state, requiring documentation of plant cleanliness.
  • Biologists in all county agricultural commisioner's office, as well as state biologists, inspect nurseries regularly.
  • Trees used for propagating certified nursery stock in California is tested annually in the spring and visually inspected in early fall. Additionally, the mother trees have gone through the Fruit Tree Qualification program at the National Virus Tested Fruit Tree Program, where they are rigorously tested for viruses, including a test for PPV.
  • County staff frequently visit orchards in the course of their regular duties and all have been trained to recognize exotic diseases and pests.
  • Harvested fruit is inspected at various levels prior to shipment or export.

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