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APHIS Seeks Comments on a Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) Seed Infected with Diaporthe (anamorph Phomopsis)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a draft pest risk assessment for Diaporthe (anamorph Phomopsis) in spinach (Spinacia oleracea) seeds. Eight Diaporthe species are associated with spinach seed. Of these, six are non-quarantine pests; one is a quarantine pest for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and one is an uncharacterized Diaporthe species that requires additional analysis to determine its quarantine status. APHIS takes action on Diaporthe species interceptions because the fungus can only be identified to the genus level at U.S. ports of entry, and this genus contains quarantine pests.

APHIS assessed the Diaporthe species associated with spinach seed. We examined the literature on 476 Diaportheand Phomopsis species for their presence in the United States and for their association with spinach plants and seed. The findings will inform decisions on whether to revise or amend the current import policy for spinach seeds infected withPhomopsis species.

APHIS is sharing the draft pest risk assessment with stakeholders to solicit any additional scientific or technical information related to its findings. Stakeholder comments will also help to inform decisions to revise or amend the current import policy for spinach seeds infected with Phomopsis species.

The draft pest risk assessment ofDiaporthe infecting spinach seed will be available for review until October 11, 2021. To view the assessment or submit comments, go to https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/risk-assessment-consultation.


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