Confirmation of melon and cucumber virus in Bundaberg

Wednesday, 1 March 2017
  • Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus has been confirmed at four sites in Bundaberg, Queensland, operated by one business.

  • Biosecurity Queensland is working with the business to contain and minimise the disease and its impact.

Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) has been confirmed at four greenhouse sites near Bundaberg, Queensland following its suspected detection on 13 February 2017.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt today expressed concern for the industry.

“The confirmation of the disease in Bundaberg is disappointing news, not only for the business whose sites have been declared ‘restricted’ but also very concerning for the wider cucurbit producing industry,” Mr Pitt said.

“Biosecurity Queensland is on the job, as this matter sits with the Queensland State Government, and is providing advice on biosecurity control measures to hopefully stop the disease from further spread.

“I understand investigations are underway to determine whether this disease is linked to previous detections.

“I would like to compliment the horticulture industry and in particular the affected business for cooperating fully with biosecurity directions to protect the future of the industry.

“The Coalition Government takes biosecurity seriously and the government has strict biosecurity controls on seed imports, which are four times more stringent than the international standards of the seed industry.

“Australia’s melon production alone, which is just one crop potentially affected by this virus, contributes around $216 million a year to the nation’s economy, so keeping this plant pest at bay is a top priority.”

For more information on CGMMV, visit Biosecurity Queensland’s website.

Fast facts

  • CGMMV is known to infect a range of cucurbits including cucumbers, melons, watermelons, pumpkins, zucchini, squash and several kinds of gourd.

  • Australia’s melon crop alone was worth around $216 million in 2014–15 (Queensland’s contribution was close to $80 million).

  • CGMMV can cause discolouration, stunted growth, misshapen fruit, rotting and necrosis.

  • The virus particles are long-lived and can survive in dead plant matter, soil and water.

  • The main pathway for long distance spread of CGMMV is through propagative material including seed, tissue culture or nursery stock.

  • CGMMV has been detected in Northern Territory (2014), Queensland (Charters Towers, 2015), Western Australia (Geraldton, Carnarvon area, Perth and Kununurra, 2016) and most recently in Queensland (February 2017).