The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has completed two pieces of work that expand the knowledge and understanding of Xylella fastidiosa (X. fastidiosa), the plant pathogen that is attacking fruit trees and other plants in parts of Europe. X. fastidiosa affects its host plants by invading their water-conducting systems, restricting or blocking the movement of water and nutrients through the plant. This can lead to serious consequences, including death, for some host plants.
EFSA has published the latest update of its database of plants that act as hosts for X. fastidiosa. The updated list includes 563 plant species identified through a new literature search and from notifications to the EU’s plant health interception service EUROPHYT. For 312 of the species, infection has been identified by at least two detection methods. The list now covers both species of the pathogen, X. fastidiosa and X. taiwanensis, and includes information on plant varieties that are resistant to, or tolerant of, Xylella.
EFSA’s Panel on Plant Health has also updated its pest categorisation of X. fastidiosa, which was part of its risk assessment of the pathogen published in 2015.
The update includes the latest information on the biology and distribution of X. fastidiosa inside and outside the EU, as well as the presence and distribution of insect vectors in Europe. It also includes detailed information about the European outbreaks and the plant species affected. A new full risk assessment of X. fastidiosa is scheduled for completion in early 2019.
The scientific report detailing the update of the Xylella spp. host plant database is available to view on the EFSA website.
Source: EFSA, 10 September 2018.