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Kiwifruit Psa came from China, study concludes

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Latest Rural News | Thursday February 28 2013 11:58

Kiwifruit Psa came from China, study concludes

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The Psa outbreak that has devastated the New Zealand kiwifruit industry came from China.

That is the conclusion of a study by University of Otago scientists.

Their study also found the kiwifruit canker disease outbreaks in Italy in 2008, and Chile in 2010 also came from China.

Dr Margi Butler says they reached their conclusion after comparisons of the genome sequencing of New Zealand's Psa, with those from other affected countries.

"Basically by the process of elimination, we've decided that we have information that implies that it came from China."

Dr Butler says the team found evidence the New Zealand strain is very, very similar to other counties but they all shared a common origin.

"I think it's fairly certain that, for instance, the Italians didn't get their Psa from us, we didn't get it from them, and the Chileans didn't get it from either New Zealand or Italy."

The Government isn't surprised by the new research.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says it remains inconclusive as to how the disease entered the country.

He says the government is focused on supporting the kiwifruit industry the best it can and that's why it allocated 25 million dollars to responding to the Psa problem back in 2010.

Photo / NZ Herald

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