Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy


External Personnel


CSIC is the largest public research institution in Spain covering all fields of knowledge. Within the agricultural science area two Institutes, Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS) and Institute of Agricultural Sciences (ICA), will participate. The main aim of IAS and ICA is to increase yield efficiency of agricultural systems in Mediterranean environments by using integrated management strategies of quarantine and native pathogens and pests avoiding the environmental damages and economic losses that they cause. This aim is reached by developing environmentally-friendly management strategies that will assure agricultural systems efficiency and yields, and quality and safety of their products. Research activities are undertaken with a multidisciplinary approach that includes taxonomy, insect ecology behavior and biology, plant stress, epidemiology, population structure of plant pathogens and pests and response of host genotypes to them. This is achieved by using classical and molecular tools, remote sensing at the leaf and canopy levels, quantitative epidemiology, habitat manipulation, host plant resistance, and by studying the impact of biotic and abiotic stresses and climate change on plant-pathogen-pest interactions, and on biochemical constituent vegetation indices, canopy temperature and chlorophyll fluorescence quantification.

Role in the Project

ICA-CSIC will participate in the study of the processes involved in insect vectoring of the EU strain of X. fastidiosa (Xf) characterizing and monitoring the feeding behavior of xylem-sap-feeders vector species. Moreover, ICA-CSIC will participate in the identification of the potential vectors of Xf associated to herbaceous cover crops grown together in olive groves, to improve the knowledge of their life cycle, population dynamics and feeding habits and transmission ability of Xf. IAS-CSIC will participate in establishing the genetic structure of Xf populations in the EU outbreaks and in other infected areas were Xf is endemic, and in the development and validation of early detection and innovative tools for surveillance and monitoring programs for Xf epidemics. Furthermore, IAS-CSIC will lead a workpackage focused on the development of innovative and sustainable approaches for bacterial control in the host plants, mainly through development of viral vector to express Xf genes or antibacterial peptides for therapeutic and prophylactic treatments, and analyzing and exploiting the olive xylem microbiome for therapeutic and prophylactic treatments. Finally IAS-CSIC will also contribute to develop risk assessment tools and regionalized risk analyses for current outbreaks and anticipation of threats and impacts of Xf epidemics as well as to develop cost/benefit analyses of eradication and management actions to control Xf spread. Both ICA-CSIC and IAS-CSIC will also participate in the investigation of integrated disease management and mitigation strategies, and will participate in dissemination of technical and scientific results and demonstrative fields.