Citrus canker disease rediscovered in Darwin and Palmerston, and several the citrus plants with symptoms of the disease have been removed from the nurseries. Since, the public have been urged by the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources to test citrus trees against the infectious citrus canker disease.
The disease had already demolished over half a million of citrus plants nearly 14 years back in Queensland, which now has been discovered in plants from one in Darwin and three nurseries in Palmerston. The origin of the disease spread has been obtained, while the infection is not diagnosed at the commercial plantations.
Nathan Hancock, Citrus Australia CEO says, “There’s a lot on the line for us if this problem becomes endemic in Australia. It really does affect the quality of the fruit and also the ability of the trees to keep producing year after year.”
In May 2005, the citrus canker disease was discovered in in Emerald, Queensland for the last time and was cleared after costing a large by the industry, after which in 2009, Australia was announced as the disease free.
Sarah Corcoran, chief plant health officer at the Department of Primary Industry and Resources, said in a statement that, “Early detection, reporting and not moving infected plants is vital, and will give the department the best chance of eradicating this disease. The disease is a serious disease of citrus and was detected on a species of West Indian lime and samples collected from grapefruit; Kaffir lime and Tahitian lime are also being tested.”