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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF)

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Declaration of new host species and additional quarantine area for Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus

[ 24/10/2014 ]

A range of additional vegetables have been officially declared as potential host plants for Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (the virus) in the NT.

This is the first time this virus has been detected in Australia and it can be found in any plants in the cucurbit family.

“We are expanding the list of declared host plants as a precaution to ensure that we can contain the potential spread of this virus and that proved timely because we now have a confirmed infection in pumpkins,” said Stephen West, Chief Plant Health Manager at DPIF.

The gazetted list of declared host plants under the NT Plant Health Act now includes:

Scientific name Common names
Cucumis anguria gherkin
Cucumis melo Melon
Cucumis sativus Cucumber
Lagenaria siceraria Bottle gourd and long melon
Momordica charantia Bitter gourd
Cucurbita moschata  Butternut, Kent and Jap pumpkins and Asian gramme
Cucurbita pepo Zucchini and button squash
Cucurbita maxima Kabotcha
Luffa acutangula Sinquar
Benincasa hispida Winter or hairy melon
Cucumis metuliferus Horned melon or kiwano or African horned cucumber
Luffa cylindrical Smooth luffa
Trichosanthes cucumerina Snake gourd

Properties in declared quarantine areas will not be able to move, sell or plant any of the declared host plants.

The total number of infected properties now stands at ten across the Greater Darwin Rural Area and Katherine region. As a result, an additional quarantine area has been declared in Marrakai. An updated list of declared quarantine places and quarantine conditions is available on the DPIF website.

““It is important that we move quickly to seek prevent any further spread of the virus as it could have a devastating impact on some of our agricultural industries”.

“Growers in Katherine have been extremely cooperative with the quarantine decisions and have taken steps to destroy their watermelon crop, by turning off water and ripping up crops.

“Biosecurity inspectors have also been very impressed with the heightened biosecurity measures already being adopted on farms and we thank growers for adhering to good biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of further transmission of the virus.”

Biosecurity officers from DPIF have also conducted surveillance and testing on all commercial watermelon farms in Central Australia. Initial test results from watermelons in Central Australia show no signs of the virus.

“We will continue working closely with growers in Central Australia, including regular monitoring and testing of their plants with the aim of preventing the virus from spreading to these farms,” he added.

Biosecurity officers will continue to conduct surveillance for the virus on all commercial cucurbit farms in the Greater Darwin Rural Area and Katherine regions in the coming  weeks.

Tracing information is currently being analysed by DPIF to determine the potential source of the mottle virus infection and to prevent further spread. Territory farmers have been very cooperative in providing information to help with this work.

This virus is declared as a notifiable plant under the Plant Health Act.  Any suspicion of Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus in a crop must be reported to the CGMMV Hotline on 1800 466 722.