Nematode quarantine and certification programmes implemented in Florida


  • R. N. Inserra
  • J. D. Stanley
  • J. H. O'Bannon
  • R. P. Esser


The state of Florida has implemented nematode phytosanitary measures and certification programmes that have protected agricultural interests for more than 40 years. A citrus disease called ‘Spreading Decline’, found to be caused by the burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis, devastated citrus orchards in the 1950s. The damage caused by this disease prompted the adoption of internal phytosanitary measures and the implementation of a citrus nursery certification programme aimed at preventing the spread of major citrus nematode pests. Besides the burrowing nematode, this programme included the citrus nematode (Tylenchulus semipenetrans) and the coffee lesion nematode (Pratylenchus coffeae). The programme requires that citrus propagative material be produced by following strict sanitation practices. It also requires that non-infested orchards be protected from the introduction of these nematodes from contaminated sources or infested orchards. Another certification programme, similar to that for citrus, was established for ornamentals and other plants for export to domestic and international markets where restrictions against the burrowing nematode are imposed. A similar certification programme for ornamentals is implemented by the Florida ornamental industry for the production of plants free of other Florida nematode pests that are not regulated in Florida, but are regulated in domestic and international markets. These nematodes occurring in Florida and regulated in other states and countries include the reniform nematode, Rotylenchulus reniformis, and sting nematodes, Belonolaimus spp. Information on other nematode pests prohibited by the state of Florida, such as the potato cyst nematodes (Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida) and the red ring nematode [Bursaphelenchus (= Rhadinaphelechus) cocophilus), is also included.