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A European project to improve the early detection of Xylella fastidiosa and to prevent and control contamination.

Olive tree affected by Xylella fastidiosa. © INRA, MA Jacques
Updated on 03/03/2017
Published on 10/03/2016

Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogen that is responsible for emerging bacterial diseases in Europe. Originating from the Americas, bacterial strains belonging to this species are now established in Asia (Taiwan, Iran) and Europe (Italy, France and Spain), where locally they can cause diseases with a major socioeconomic impact. These bacterial strains are naturally transmitted between plants by sap sucking insects, and they only colonise the xylem vessels, which transport sap in their host plant.  However, it is mainly the plant trade that can be blamed for the global dissemination of these plant pathogens. Improving tools to enable their early detection, preventing contamination and, if possible, controlling their spread are the goals of this project, funded following a call for proposals focused on this emerging problem in the context of the Horizon 2020 SFS-09-2016 programme.
The EmerSys (Emergence, Systematics and Ecology of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria) team in the Research Institute for Horticulture and Seeds (Joint Research Unit) is responsible for Workpackage 2, which is dedicated to improving our knowledge of the biology, pathogenicity and genomics of the X. fastidiosa strains pertinent to Europe. The team will be focusing specifically on the strains present in France which constitute a threat to French agricultural production. As well as genomic analyses coupled with pathogenicity tests to identify the determinants for its aggressiveness and the host plant range, genome typing patterns will be developed for use by reference laboratories.
The XF-ACTORS project: Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy, is being coordinated by Maria Saponari, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Bari, Italy, and counts 29 participants.
Scientific contact :
Marie-Agnès Jacques, Research Institute for Horticulture and Seeds (Joint Research Unit)
Plant Health and Environment Division (SPE).
Research Centres involved:Angers-Nantes Pays de la Loire, Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, Montpellier, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur    

JACQUES Marie-Agnes
Associated Division(s):
Plant Health and Environment
Associated Centre(s):
Pays de la Loire