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Biosecurity
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Home > Biosecurity > Plant Biosecurity > Little Cherry Virus (LChV-2)

Little Cherry Virus (LChV-2)

DPIPWE is currently investigating a suspect case of Little Cherry Disease on a property in southern Tasmania.

This disease is caused by the Little Cherry Virus (LChV-2) that has not has not been detected in Australia before. As is usual practice in these situations, DPIPWE has sent samples to a reference laboratory in Victoria for a second opinion on whether this is LChV-2.

As the pest name suggests, LChV-2 causes undersized cherries that lack flavor and colour so it reduces saleable cherries harvested from any infected trees.

In overseas countries where this disease occurs it is spread specifically by an insect called the apple mealybug. Fortunately this insect is not present in Australia. So any potential spread of the disease is restricted to infected root stock or grafts. Most importantly, cherry fruit is not a pathway for spread of the disease and the disease poses no human health risks.

Though the current suspect case does not present a risk of rapid spread of the disease and it is largely ‘business as usual’ for cherry growers, Little Cherry Disease is something we don’t want in Tasmania.

DPIPWE is working closely with Fruit Growers Tasmania and the agreed view is that any infected plants will be removed if the disease is confirmed.

As a precaution, ahead of any confirmatory results DPIPWE is undertaking additional survey activities in cherry orchards and will be collecting leaf samples for testing from suspect trees.

The Australian Government will work with overseas trading partners should any market access issues arise.

DPIPWE commends the agronomist who sent leaf samples to our plant pathology laboratory for identification. This is a great example of biosecurity aware people assisting Tasmania in maintaining its valuable biosecurity status.

Tasmanian cherry growers have always recognised and supported the importance of biosecurity to their industry. The industry is therefore supportive of the precautionary approach DPIPWE is undertaking in managing this suspect case.

Fact sheet on Little Cherry Virus 2

Download Little Cherry Virus 2 (LChV-2) Fact Sheet as a PDF  Little Cherry Virus 2 (LChV-2) Fact Sheet
(PDF: 264 KB / 2 Pages) 
 

This is a Portable Document Format (PDF) file and requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Reader is easy to download and is free of charge.


Questions and Answers about this incident

(Please note, these Q&As are updated to include questions coming into our emergency response hotline)

Download Little Cherry Virus 2 - Questions and Answers as a PDF  Little Cherry Virus 2 - Questions and Answers
(PDF: 221 KB / 2 Pages) 
 

This is a Portable Document Format (PDF) file and requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Reader is easy to download and is free of charge.


Key contacts:

The DPIPWE Info Line (for growers and members of the general public) - 0417 884 460

Media contact - public information officer: 0409 763 058


Tasmania Online


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