Gladiolus rust (GR), a plant disease of quarantine significance, was detected and confirmed for the first time in the United States in April 2006 on a gladiolus production farm in Manatee County, FL. The disease was later found on another commercial gladiolus farm in Hendry County, FL. In May 2006, GR was detected at one commercial and three residential sites in San Diego County, CA, just north of the Mexican border. State and Federal officials destroyed the infected plants and placed stop sale notices on the facilities.
The Center for Plant Health Science and Technology—part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)—organized a technical committee to devise appropriate eradication techniques specific to the infested areas of Florida and California. Although the specific source of the 2006 infections is not known, in recent years, GR has been intercepted many times on cut gladiolus flowers entering the country as commercial shipments and/or in passenger baggage from Mexico, Brazil, and other countries.
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