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Poster: Biology and Disease Management: Regulatory Plant Pathology


Known unknowns and unknown unknowns: fungi intercepted at the U.S. borders
M. ROMBERG (1), J. McKemy (1) (1) USDA APHIS PPQ, U.S.A.

Global trade in plants and plant products continues to increase yearly and has the potential to move fungi associated with poorly studied hosts around the world. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plant pathology identifiers at ports across the U.S. are responsible for identification of fungi on products arriving by sea, land and air. In 2015, over 18,000 interceptions were examined by USDA APHIS plant pathology identifiers. These interceptions covered about 600 genera of hosts, with more than 250 genera of fungi identified on these hosts. The inspected hosts comprise ornamental, forestry, and horticultural plants and plant products. Nearly one quarter of the interceptions were from cargo awaiting entry decisions and required identifications in less than 48 hours. The rest were from plants and plant products seized from passenger baggage, mail, ship stores and other sources and represent some of the as yet unknown fungal/host combinations that could be arriving in the U.S. via these pathways. If a fungus not known to be present in the U.S. is intercepted on a shipment, that shipment is either destroyed or re-exported, which underscores the need to know which fungi have been reported in the US and also the need for systematic research in widespread fungal groups. An overview of intercepted fungi will be presented including fungi intercepted for the first time from various ports and not known to occur in the U.S.