April 24, 2015
Biosecurity Queensland has taken further plant samples for testing from a farm near Charters Towers which is under quarantine after a case of Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) was detected.
CGMMV affects cucurbit species including watermelons and other melons, cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkins and gourds. It has devastated the Northern Territory watermelon industry after it was first detected there in September last year, but does not affect humans.
Queensland Chief Plant Health Manager Mike Ashton said Biosecurity Queensland staff had spent this week conducting surveillance on the infected farm, on another nearby cucurbit-growing property and on a property at Black River, taking further samples and undertaking tracing investigations.
“We should have those test results back within a week. We remain hopeful that this is an isolated case,” he said.
“If no further detections are made, we can confine the virus to this one property and eradicate it from Queensland.
“While we have now completed surveillance on these three properties, we will be conducting wider surveillance in other cucurbit-growing areas in the coming weeks.
“We are reasonably confident that we know the source and the disease has only been present for a short period. It has only been found in a single crop on the farm, which is relatively isolated.
“However, we will continue to monitor the site and conduct tracing investigations to be sure the virus has not slipped through our net.”
Growers have been urged to check their crops for the virus and contact Biosecurity Queensland immediately to report any suspected cases of CGMMV.
Queensland is a major producer of watermelons and rockmelons.