Pest survey card on Thekopsora minima
This pest survey card was prepared in the context of the EFSA mandate on plant pest surveillance (M2017- 0137) at the request of the European Commission. Its purpose is to guide the Member States in preparing data and information for Thekopsora minima surveys. These are required to design statistically sound and risk-based pest surveys, in line with current international standards. Thekopsora minima is not regulated in the EU but is included in the EPPO A2 list of pests recommended for regulation as a quarantine pest. It is the causal agent of blueberry leaf rust on the American highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum). In the EU, the pathogen has been reported in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Host availability seems to be the only limit to the spread of the pest due to its broad climatic tolerance. Surveys should be performed mainly in spring or autumn (in regions with a Mediterranean climate) or late summer and the beginning of autumn (in temperate climates). Detection surveys should mainly target Vaccinium corymbosum in nurseries, plantations and naturalised plants, whereas for delimiting surveys Tsuga and Rhododendron spp. should also be monitored. Surveillance of Thekopsora minima in the EU should focus on the visible symptoms on Vaccinium plants caused by the uredinial stage of the fungus that can be identified morphologically by experts. However, reliable identification of T. minima requires molecular methods and DNA sequence analysis.