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Notice to industry: Recommendation to prevent movement of 'Concorde', 'Royal Cloak' and 'Tara' Emerald Carousel barberry cultivars, into Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba


Recommendation to prevent movement

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) strongly recommends that no barberry plants of cultivars 'Concorde', 'Royal Cloak' and 'Tara' Emerald Carousel be moved into or propagated in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.


As per the Plant Protection Regulations, the CFIA regulates the importation and domestic movement of barberry (including Berberis, Mahoberberis and Mahonia spp.) to control black stem rust, a regulated pest in Canada. Black stem rust is a disease caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis Pers. which is widespread worldwide wherever cereals are grown and causes significant damage.

The presence of susceptible barberry plants in close proximity to fields of cereal crops can lead to localized epidemics of black stem rust and to new and more virulent races of the pathogen to which current cultivars of cereal crops may have little or no resistance.

Consequently, Schedule I of the Plant Protection Regulations prohibits the movement of barberry within Canada, while exempting certain species and cultivars that are considered resistant to black stem rust. Currently, barberry cultivars 'Concorde', 'Royal Cloak' and 'Tara' Emerald Carousel are listed in Schedule I as exempt from movement prohibition. The CFIA sets restrictions on the importation, propagation and distribution to ensure that only exempt barberry plants are moved in Canada. These control measures are described in directive D-01-04: Plant Protection Import and Domestic Movement Requirements for Barberry (Berberis, Mahoberberis and Mahonia spp.) under the Canadian Barberry Certification Program.

New information

Recent scientific literature reveals that currently approved barberry cultivars 'Concorde' and 'Royal Cloak' were not true Japanese barberry but rather hybrids between a rust-resistant species (Berberis thunbergii) and a rust-susceptible species (B. vulgaris), making them potentially capable of producing rust susceptible offspring. In addition, cultivar 'Tara' Emerald Carousel is a known hybrid between B. thunbergii and B. koreana, the latter being moderately susceptible to black stem rust. It is unclear if this hybrid could produce susceptible offspring. However, since 'Tara' Emerald Carousel is the most prolific seed producer amongst all approved cultivars in Canada, the occurrence of susceptible offspring would have a significant impact.

Based on this new scientific literature, it is recommended that these cultivars be considered as biological obstacles to the control of black stem rust and no longer be exempt from the prohibition of movement in Canada. In order to remove these cultivars from the Plant Protection Regulations, a regulatory amendment is required.

Regulatory amendments

In April 2021, the CFIA consulted stakeholders on risk mitigation options for barberry. The majority of respondents supported CFIA's recommended option to increase flexibility by removing the list of exempt species and cultivars from the Plant Protection Regulations. Based on consultation results, the CFIA has published RMD-21-02: Pest risk management document for barberry (Berberis, Mahoberberis and Mahonia spp.) as a biological obstacle to the control of black stem rust (Puccinia graminis) and will proceed with a regulatory amendment. Once the amendment is in place, cultivars 'Concorde', 'Royal Cloak' and 'Tara' Emerald Carousel will be removed from the list of exempt species and cultivars and their movement will be prohibited. Industry will have to remove them from the marketplace using a phased approach. The CFIA will consult with impacted stakeholders in the development of a transition prior to the coming into force of new requirements.


While awaiting these anticipated regulatory amendments, the CFIA strongly recommends that no plants of 'Concorde', 'Royal cloak' and 'Tara' Emerald Carousel cultivars be moved into or propagated in the major wheat producing provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), due to the risks associated with the emergence of new strains of black stem rust from the progeny of these cultivars and their potential impacts to cereal production in these provinces.

More information on risk evaluations for barberry and black stem rust, in addition to planned next steps, is available in RMD-21-02: Pest risk management document for barberry (Berberis, Mahoberberis and Mahonia spp.) as a biological obstacle to the control of black stem rust (Puccinia graminis).

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