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Citrus Canker

Scientific Name

Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri

Common Name

Citrus canker, Citrus bacterial canker

Native To

Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia or India (Polek 2007)

Date of U.S. Introduction

First discovered in 1910, but eradicated in 1931; another outbreak was discovered in 1986, and again in 1995 (Dewdney 2013)

Means of Introduction

First arrived in seedlings imported from Japan in 1910 (Dewdney 2013)


Bacterial disease that infects citrus trees, where it destroys fruit and causes decreased production (CABI)

Citrus canker -
Image use policy

Citrus canker, fruit symptoms on sweet orange


Photo by Jeffrey W. Lotz; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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  • USDA Confirms Citrus Canker in a South Carolina Nursery and Takes Action to Collect and Destroy Affected Plants

    • Mar 9, 2022
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of citrus canker disease in a nursery in South Carolina. The nursery sells plants to consumers through online sales. Citrus canker causes citrus leaves and fruit to drop prematurely, and results in lesions on citrus leaves, stems and fruit. Fruit infected with the bacterium that causes citrus canker (Xanthomonas axonopodis) is safe to eat, but it may not be marketable because of the lesions. Citrus canker is not harmful to people or animals.

      Together with state partners, APHIS is working to collect and destroy the plants shipped to consumers in 11 states and trace plants that were sold to determine additional locations of potentially infected plants. The states include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. If you live in one of the 11 states and bought citrus plants online that came from South Carolina between August 5, 2021, and February 17, 2022, please keep your plants for now. If you purchased a plant or plants that might be infected, APHIS and/or state officials will contact you in the next several days to collect and properly dispose of any plants purchased from the nursery. You can also call your local USDA office.

  • APHIS Removes a Portion of Harris County in Texas from the Domestic Citrus Canker (Xanthomonas spp.) Quarantine Area

    • Aug 23, 2021
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is removing a portion of Harris County within the Braeswood area of Houston, Texas, from citrus canker regulations. The successful partnership between APHIS and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has resulted in a citrus canker-free status in this area since 2016.

      On May 20, 2016, APHIS confirmed the positive identification of citrus canker in two adjacent sour orange trees in a city park in the Braeswood area of Houston, in Harris County, Texas. TDA removed and destroyed both positive citrus canker trees. TDA established an intrastate quarantine area for citrus canker that paralleled the federal citrus canker regulatory requirements specified in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 301.75. APHIS completed a comprehensive delimiting survey around the area and found no additional citrus trees positive for citrus canker within the survey area. The removal of this quarantine area is reflected on the APHIS website, which also contains a description of all the current federal citrus canker quarantine areas.

  • You Can Help Prevent Citrus Disease - Story Map

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • See also: APHIS in Action to explore plant and animal health or wildlife damage management data and Interactive Story Maps

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Federally Regulated

  • Citrus Diseases - Federal Quarantines

    • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    • Contains the legal description of current federal quarantine areas for several citrus pests and diseases (Asian citrus pysllid, citrus black spot,  citrus canker, citrus greening, sweet orange scab),  Users can search by state and pest to determine the quarantine area(s) by state and territories.

  • Citrus Federal Quarantine Boundary Viewer

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Select layer to view quarantine by species (Asian citrus psyllid, citrus black spot, citrus canker,  citrus greening, sweet orange scab).
      See also: APHIS in Action to explore plant and animal health or wildlife damage management data and Interactive Story Maps

  • Citrus Regulated Articles

    • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    • Contains the requirements for moving fruit, nursery stock, or other regulated articles for several citrus pests and diseases.

  • Domestic Quarantine Notices (Title 7: Agriculture, Part 301) - Citrus Canker

    • U.S. Government Printing Office. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government