In late May 2019, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) detected cherry leaf roll virus (CLRV) from samples of Prunus avium plant material submitted for virus certification testing from two separate facilities in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (BC).
This is the first report of CLRV in propagative Prunus spp. material in Canada. In 2016, cherry leaf roll virus was detected in a commercial cherry fruit orchard in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (BC) and affected trees were removed.
Cherry leaf roll virus is a regulated pest to Canada. It is found in most of Europe, and is also present in North America, Africa, Asia, South America, and Australasia. It is a nepovirus that can cause tree decline and death of sweet cherry (Prunus avium), sour cherry (P. cerasus) and black cherry (P. serotina). Cherry leaf roll virus has a wide host range; however evidence has shown that a specific host strain of CLRV will typically not infect another plant species or genus under natural conditions.
The CFIA has completed a trace forward investigation which confirmed that no infected material entered the Canadian Fruit Tree Export Program (CFTEP) as certified material. Consistent with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and its international standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPMs), the CFIA has implemented official control measures to contain the infected material while the pest status of CLRV is being determined.
The CFIA will continue to work with its partners to determine the extent of the infestation to assess if this is an isolated occurrence (i.e., “transient” as per ISPM 8: Determination of pest status in an area) or if the pest is more widely distributed.