Sweet Orange Scab
On July 23, 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of a fungal disease of citrus caused by Elsinoë australis (Bitancourt & Jenkins) on residential citrus trees in Texas. This was the first confirmation of E. australis, commonly referred to as sweet orange scab, in the United States. Since that detection, APHIS has confirmed the disease on citrus trees in several other U.S. States. This plant disease does not pose a threat to human or animal health. Sweet orange scab causes unsightly, scab-like lesions to develop on fruit rinds and, less often, on leaves and twigs of Citrus spp. and Fortunella spp.. The damage produced is superficial and does not affect internal fruit quality or taste. Infected fruit are more likely to drop prematurely, and the scabby lesions reduce the fruit’s fresh market value. In addition, the disease may stunt young citrus seedlings. The disease is also known to occur in South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay) and in Oceania (Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue and Samoa).
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