Regulated non-quarantine pest Project

An EU funded project for the benefit of the whole EPPO region

NAME OF THE ORGANISM: Virus-like diseases (1VIRLD)


Name as submitted in the project specification (if different to the preferred name):
All viruses and virus-like organisms

Pest category:
Viruses and viroids

1- Identity of the pest/Level of taxonomic listing:

Is the organism clearly a single taxonomic entity and can it be adequately distinguished from other entities of the same rank?

Is the pest defined at the species level or lower?:

Can listing of the pest at a taxonomic level higher than species be supported by scientific reasons or can species be identified within the taxonomic rank which are the (main) pests of concern?
  • No: Vegetable propagating and planting material (other than seeds) sector
Is it justified that the pest is listed at a taxonomic rank below species level?
Not relevant

  • Not candidate: Vegetable propagating and planting material (other than seeds) sector
Justification (if necessary):
In the RNQP Questionnaire, for the Vegetable plant (excluding seeds) sector, FI supported to keep all virus-like diseases listed arguing that 'all symptomatic virus infections should be prohibited'. However this would already be covered by the 'substantially free from' requirement. The term 'virus-like-diseases' is usually applied to perennial, woody crops such as pome and stone fruits that are affected by unknown agents that have symptoms the same or similar to those of viruses, but are presently unidentified. They are often subsequently found to be caused by viruses or phyoplasmas. None have been found in the past on vegetable crops and subsequently identified and it is suggested this term was probably added in the heading title in the directive just for consistency with other crops where the term is valid. Symptoms of this sort could also be included under the pest name 'viruses' for vegetable crops as in this database, so it is proposed to conclude this category is not relevant for any vegetable crops, and should be excluded.
Remark: GB would not support such a listing.

For the Ornamental sector, DE is the only country arguing to keep all virus-like diseases listed for this sector. Indeed DE considered that several species are important and cause similar damage and have an unacceptable economic impact. Listing at this level allows decision on visual inspection instead on sampling and testing/identification. GB considered in the replies to the RNQP Questionnaire (for Malus and Pyrus) that it would not be justified to list all virus-like diseases at a higher level than the species level. No 'Virus-like' diseases have been found in the past on herbaceous ornamental crops and subsequently identified. The term 'virus-like-diseases' has in the past been applied to Pinus with a putative cryptic virus reported from Pinus sylvestris (Veliceasa et al., 2006), from Pyrus for a number of disorders such as Bark split, bark necrosis, rough bark, quince sooty ringspot (probably caused by ASPV), pear stony pit (probably caused by ASPV), rubbery wood and quince yellow blotch (EPPO PM 4/27); from Malus for a number of disorders such as Rubbery wood, flat limb, Horseshoe wound and the fruit disorders: chat fruit, green crinkle, bumpy fruit of Ben Davis, rough skin, star crack, russet ring, russet wart (EPPO PM 4/27); from Phoenix (although one frequent disorder 'Lethal yellowing', is now known to be caused by a phytoplasma called Coconut lethal yellowing phytoplasma and is not known in the EU and was also known as Palm lethal yellowing phytoplasma or Phytoplasma palmae). There are also a few reports of virus-like-diseases in other gymnosperms but their nature has not be determined (Hull, 2014). Experts concluded that it is not justified to list this entry at this level. This will be covered by the substantially free from requirement.

HOST PLANT N°1: Cynara scolymus (CYUSC) for the Vegetable propagating and planting material (other than seeds) sector.

Origin of the listing:
2 - Vegetable seedling sector: Commission Directive 93/61/EC

Plants for planting:
Plants intended for planting

Disqualified: the term 'Virus-like diseases' is not relevant for the vegetable sector. This entry will be covered by the 'substantially free from' general requirement that will remain in the Marketing Directive.

8 - Tolerance level:

Is there a need to change the Tolerance level:

Proposed Tolerance levels:

9 - Risk management measures:

Is there a need to change the Risk management measure:

Proposed Risk management measure:

  • Hull R (2014) in Plant Virology, page 47. Academic Press, London, UK.
  • Veliceasa D, Enünlü N, Kós PB, Köster S, Beuther E, Morgun B, Deshmukh SD & Lukács N (2006) Searching for a new putative cryptic virus in Pinus sylvestris L. Virus Genes 32, 177-186;