Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Detection of initial introductions of any exotic pathogen is challenging because by definition, exotic introductions occur in very low incidence. Initial surveys may underestimate incidence or may determine that pathogens have become dispersed across large regional areas and have become widespread, i.e., ubiquitous. Because exotic pathogens initially may not be found in all agricultural regions where a commodity is grown, they fall under strict regulatory authority and prompt swift action. Regulatory agencies require methodologies to quickly find and accurately delimit exotic pathogens. These methods often involve considerable physical and manpower resources. As pathogen incidence and the proportion of total infected commodity area increase, regulatory agencies must quickly adapt their mitigation strategies, even though changing regulatory policy can be hampered by political momentum and challenged by litigation. Regulatory agencies are becoming ever more reliant upon rapid regional survey methodologies and predictive models to estimate disease increase and spread that are linked to economic models to estimate changing fiscal and manpower resources. The need for such tools increases as the number of exotic pathogens assailing US agriculture escalates. These tools provide the means to justify modifications to regulatory policy. Examples are provided from regional epidemics of the arboreal exotic pathogens citrus canker, Huanglongbing, and plum pox.