News from the CTPS Fruit Section – October 2021
At its meeting on 21 October, the Section reviewed the results of the fruit certification campaign, the “Pear Decline” management plan, and questions raised by the forthcoming implementation of the Organic Agriculture Regulation 2018/848. Certain provisions of this regulation appear to be incompatible with the regulations in force on the quality of reproductive material of fruit species. Finally, the Fruit Species Section was informed of the impact of frost on DUS trials, and of the discussions underway at European level to agree on a new procedure for monitoring the health of plant material supplied for DUS trials.
After significant contamination in 2020 and 2021 of reproductive material by the phytoplasma responsible for Pear Decline, professionals have, with the support of the DGAL, obtained from the European Commission a revision of the Plant Health Regulation to limit losses and above all to maintain a production of French pear plants. Actions to clean up nurseries and improve detection methods have been implemented.
Concerning the Organic Agriculture regulation, its implementation is hampered by regulations in force on the certification of reproductive material of fruit species, particularly concerning the notion of mother plant. A clarification is expected in the coming weeks, which could have important consequences on the capacity of French nurseries to produce organic fruit plants in the future. The Section’s experts are working with the DGPE, INAO and the European Commission to discuss and possibly change technical and regulatory points that could block the production of organic fruit plants on a large scale.
An assessment of the impact of frost on DUS trials, which is important for Prunus, was also shared with the Section. About 50 varieties will have their testing extended by one year, as the fruit could not be observed in 2021. Protection measures against these spring frost episodes will be increased, in the hope that they will make it possible to limit the damage if this reoccurs.
Finally, applicants have been informed that a new CPVO procedure for plant health monitoring of DUS trials will also be implemented for CTPS and INOV applications. In order to ensure that apple mutation varieties can be compared in the best possible way, the Examination Office concerned will itself take leaf and root samples from the trees received for the DUS test and send this material to a laboratory appointed by the CPVO after a call for tender. The laboratory will test for the possible presence of a phytoplasma and 4 viruses, which can jeopardise the DUS test and influence the phenotype of the variety. This procedure will come into force in January 2022.