The implementation of strict surveillance and monitoring programs is a viable way to prevent the spread of the Xylella fastidiosa plant pathogen in the EU, scientists have said.
"Data show that the bacterium has been in Europe since the 1990s, its evolution is slow and mutations are not as frequent as we thought in the beginning, so reinforcing surveillance can prevent the spread of the bacterium, before it settles permanently, as happened in Puglia and Spain", said Donato Boscia from the Italian IPSP-CNR Institute.
Scientists from all over the world are taking stock of the results of studies carried out as part of the XF-ACTORS project, the first EU-funded research project entirely devoted to Xylella fastidiosa.
Final data on resistant varieties, which was presented by the XF-ACTORS Coordinator Maria Saponari (IPSP-CNR), "show that good management practices in the field improve the resistance traits of the olive cultivars" naturally, said Marie-Agnés Jacques, from the French INRAE Institute, in her concluding remarks.
For real progress on the understanding of Xylella fastidiosa's interactions with hosts such as olive trees, European researchers should make wider use of agricultural biotechnology, said Pasquale Saldarelli (IPSP-CNR).
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