Certification and education prevents viruses from threatening the nursery industry
The most destructive viral disease of stone fruit was detected in southwestern Michigan during routine testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) in the summer of 2006. Thankfully, this was the state’s only encounter with Plum Pox Virus, but the scare quickly affected commerce and halted trade.
“We did a massive amount of surveying to ensure that we eradicated the virus. We still continue to monitor for this,” says Elizabeth Dorman, laboratory scientist for MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management (PPPM) Division, which is responsible for responding to the detection of harmful insects and diseases, as well as certifying plants, fruits and vegetables.
Through the plant pathology lab at the MDARD Geagley Laboratory…