|Authors: ||M. Keck, H. Reich, R. Chartier, J.-P. Paulin|
Fire blight was discovered for the first time in Austria in the summer of 1993 during a field survey: two Cotoneaster salicifolius were found infected in Vorarlberg, the very western end of Austria.
This region is close to a zone in Germany, where fire blight has been destructive for the last few years.
An additional survey in 1994 did not allow the detection of any other focus in the country with the exception of a single pear tree, in the same area.
Isolates from these infected plants were compared to strains of Erwinia amylovora from other countries.
All tests performed - physiological, serological, chemical (fatty acid profiles) - showed the identity of these isolates with Erwinia amylovora.
In order to consider the risks of the spreading of fire blight with crates, artificially contaminated pieces of wood - beech, poplar, spruce - and plastic were kept at 26°C and 4°C in Petri dishes.
After three months of storage living bacteria were recovered from each material.
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