On June 12, 2008, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST) National Plant Germplasm and Biotechnology Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, confirmed the identification of citrus greening (CG, also known as Huanglongbing or HLB) in a leaf sample from a residential property in Algiers, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. HLB is caused by the bacterial pathogen 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus'. This is the first confirmation of CG in Louisiana.
The samples in which CG was confirmed were from a lime tree on which Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphornia citri Kuwayama) had previously been found (see the PAS June 09, 2008 U.S. Official Pest Report: http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=319). To date, ACP has been found at seven sites (4 residential properties and 3 retail nurseries) in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes. Emergency action notifications have been issued to all of the nurseries in which ACP has been found to prevent the movement of infested plants. In addition, all insects confirmed as ACP, as well as, leaf samples from plants on which the psyllids are found, are being tested for the presence of CG.
With the confirmation of CG in Orleans Parish, APHIS is working with Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) to take appropriate regulatory action to prevent the movement of host plants and plant material from the Parish. LDAF officials have indicated that the State intends to take action to establish a parallel quarantine, thus requiring APHIS to quarantine only those parishes in which ACP or CG is present. APHIS will continue to work closely with officials from the LDAF to delimit the presence of both ACP and CG while developing a response plan to address the infestations in Louisiana.
Under IPPC standards, 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' is considered a pest that is present, only in some areas (localized in Florida and Louisiana) of the United States and under official control for the purpose of containment of the pest.