Topics of researchXF-ACTORS is a research project to improve prevention, early detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa through the establishment of a multidisciplinary research program
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).
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.
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).
• 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.
• 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.
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.
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.
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.