The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has deployed a new, high-tech tool to help protect U.S. nursery and specialty crop growers from a disease-causing microbe called Ralstonia solanacearum. APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program is now using molecular diagnostics (MDx) at its plant inspection stations to rapidly detect R. solanacearum on imported geranium (Pelargonium) plant cuttings. PPQ developed this extra level of protection following the detection of R. solanacearum in April 2020, which triggered an emergency response in 44 states involving 650 nurseries. PPQ successfully eradicated R. solancearum from the United States just two months later.
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USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.