What is Xylella Fastidiosa?

Hello! Surely the name Xylella Fastidiosa sounds familiar to you, but do you know what Xylella Fastidiosa is? Where does it come from? What type of crops does it affect? What damage does it cause? Is there an efficient means of fighting this bacteria?

Much has been said about this bacteria in recent months and all because it is already found in European territory, very close to our country, more specifically in the south of Italy.

We sincerely hope that it never reaches Spain, because as you will see throughout the article, there is still no cure for Xylella Fastidiosa.

What is Xylella Fastidiosa and where does it come from?

Xylella Fastidiosa is a bacteria with enormous pathogenic potential that spreads very easily among a large number of crops.

The name Fastidiosa has been assigned due to the enormous complexity of isolating and cultivating this bacteria in the laboratory.

The vectors or agents that are responsible for transmitting this disease are insects that feed on the xylem (sap) of plants such as frothers or cicadas.

Once this insect bites and sucks on an infected plant, it acquires the bacteria that carries it and transmits it to the next plant it feeds on.

According to Wikipedia, the origin of this disease is located in northern California (USA), where it was discovered towards the end of the 19th century, gradually spreading throughout the American continent, from north to south.

In 1989, the United States Department of Agriculture commissioned pathologist and botanist Newton B. Pierce to investigate the disease in grapevines, which is where it began to cause the most damage, but the study ended without finding an effective solution against it. This disease, although it retained the name of its researcher, referring to Xylella Fastidiosa in that country as Pierce’s disease.

What type of crops does this bacteria affect?

According to the scientific literature, around 300 plant species are sensitive to this bacteria and are associated with four different subspecies of Xylella Fastidiosa, but not all are sensitive to the disease.

It mainly affects woody crops such as vines, citrus, various stone fruit trees, coffee and ornamentals.

The strain identified in Apulia (Southern Italy) is considered a new genetic variant of performing tests.

What damage does it cause to crops?

Xylella Fastidiosa invades the xylem (sap) of the plant and can completely clog the vessels that carry water and mineral salts that feed the entire plant.

The typical symptoms that can be observed in the plant are: generalized wilting or decay and, in more acute cases, the drying of leaves and branches, which leads to the death of the entire plant.

There are other symptoms caused by certain mineral deficiencies such as interveinal chlorosis or leaf mottling.

Is there a cure for sick plants?

According to phytosanitary experts at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), to date, there is no efficient control method that cures diseased plants.

The only efficient remedy against this disease is prevention.

Extreme precautions must be taken regarding the trade of sensitive plant material and especially that which comes from areas with the presence of the bacteria.

If an outbreak is detected in the field, the only treatment that currently exists is the elimination of the affected trees and the surrounding wild vegetation that can act as a host for the bacteria and establish a surveillance program in successive years to try to prevent the regrowth of the disease. the illness.

Currently, the affected farmers do not have any type of financial help.

You can expand this information by downloading a PDF prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development on Xylella Fastidiosa.

I hope that the information I have shared with you throughout this article has answered the questions I asked you at the beginning about this terrible disease. If you want to expand this information, you can do so through the comments. All the best!

By Rafael Espejo.

Bodegas La Aurora S.C.A.

Avda. de Europa, 7 Montilla Córdoba 14550

Tél: 957 650 362 

Tél: 957 654 642

Email: administracion@bodegaslaaurora.com

La Aurora Wineries