Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy


Innovation potential

Topic: Genetic and biology of Xf bacterial strains

  • Information on the determinants of host range specificity and triggers for pathogenicity.
  • Information to assess risk of further outbreaks in contaminated regions and of disease appearance in other regions that are actually free of disease.
  • Recommendation for the choice of plant species for different regions in the EU.
  • Possible perspectives for alternative disease control by applying conditions or treatments that suppress disease development.
  • Targeted containment strategies based on the evidences on the evolution of the population and bacterial spread in the infected area(s).

Topic: Resistant/tolerant olive germplasm

  • Identification of genes involved in the host-response which may be used to set specific breeding and genetic improvement program.
  • Development of a fast protocol for resistance screening to Xf in olive cultivars.

Topic: Novel tools for bio-control

  • Discovery of molecules (sAMPs, DSF analogues), viral vectors, and bacteriophages that can be applied to prevent or reduce Xf host colonization and mitigate disease development.
  • Identification and cultivation of a “core microbiome” or specific endophytic microorganisms to protect olives against Xf.
  • Characterization and identification of endosymbiotic bacteria to be used to alter the fitness and the reproductive success of P. spumarius.
  • Characterization of visual, olfactory and acoustic cues involved in P. spumarius communication to divert pest communication and host plant location (push and pull strategy).

Topic: Surveillance

  • Operational systems that collect and automatically analyze remote sensing data for early detection.
  • Biologically-specific simulation model for Xf spread and surveillance.
  • Practical guidelines for planning Xf disease surveillance strategies.

Topic: Detection

  • Efficient sampling methods for pathogen monitoring at different scales (field, nursery, consignments).
  • Prototypes of portable devices and guidelines for rapid and on site pathogen detection in a wide range of host plant matrices and potential vectors.

Topic: Vector ecology and epidemiology

  • Develop information on a set of vibrational signal to be used to develop novel concept of traps based on attractive stimulation of individuals.
  • Chemical and visual cues involved in host plant location to be used to develop selective traps for monitoring and mass-trapping.
  • Novel NGS-based monitoring tool for insect vectors.

Topic: Risk assessment and management

  • Spatially-explicit models that predict and map the likely spread of Xf over time in Apulia and other threatened regions, for different management scenarios.
  • Environmental and socio-economic impact analysis based on regional case studies.
  • Cost-benefit analysis and best practice guidelines for Xf eradication and management.
  • GIS-based regional risk assessment tool.

Topic: Dissemination & Communication

  • Implementation of an integrated research database on Xf through EPPO.
  • Structuring dialogue with stakeholders and establish participatory approach.
  • Communication platform and social networks.