It was more than 5 years ago when for the first time olive oil producers in Apulia region (southern Italy) started to report about severe desiccations affecting their olive trees, whose rapid progression was something unusual and never seen before in this area.
Canopies of the trees showed brown patches of desiccated branches, which rapidly progressed causing the dead of the entire canopies. Some of these trees were hundreds of years old and considered as monument and part of the history of the landscape, thus introduction of this exotic pathogen in the area is transforming landscapes and threatening an ancient agricultural activity that has sustained communities for centuries.
Farmers whose families had tended olives for generations are now facing severe losses and their businesses plummet.
Currently no curative treatments are available to recover the plants from the infections and several research programs – POnTE, XF-ACTORS, CURE-XF – funded by the European Commission are ongoing to attempt the development of sustainable control strategies to tackle with this harmful plant pathogenic bacterium.
Watch the TV documentary – made in the framework of Cure-XF project – via Futuris | Latest news about the leading scientific and technological research projects in Europe.