Xylella fastidiosa spreads to new hosts

Experts have warned the Xylella fastidiosa plant bacterium has spread to new hosts across Europe.

Image: Flickr/Forest and Kim Starr
Image: Flickr/Forest and Kim Starr

The new hosts added to the European Commission database are Acacia dealbata found in France and infected with X. fastidiosa subsp. Multiplex.

Meanwhile Pelargonium x fragrans has been found in Italy to be infected with X. fastidiosa subsp. Pauca, according to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Movements of all EU listed 'host plants' within member states must be accompanied by a plant passport, down to the retail sale stage.

Two months ago a new strain to Europe was detected, called X. fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa. It was found in Germany on a single Nerium oleander plant.

Germany applied control conditions including inspection of the outbreak area and surveillance, insisting no suspect plants had been sent to other EU member states.

And last month Spain notified the EU Commission it had detected X. fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa in three cherry trees at a garden centre on the island of Mallorca following an inspection.

Back in February APHA announced it would survey X. fastidiosa while the Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) said it would help businesses on registration for the new plant passports.


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