Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy


Elodie Pagot
Pablo Zarco-Tejeada

External Personnel


As the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre’s mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle. Its work has a direct impact on the lives of citizens by contributing with its research outcomes to a healthy and safe environment, secure energy supplies, sustainable mobility and consumer health and safety. The JRC draws on over 50 years of scientific experience and continually builds its expertise. Located across five different countries, the JRC hosts specialist laboratories and unique research facilities and is home to thousands of scientists working to support EU policy.

While most of our scientific work serves the policy Directorates-General of the European Commission, we address key societal challenges while stimulating innovation and developing new methods, tools and standards. We share know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners. The JRC collaborates with over a thousand organisations worldwide whose scientists have access to many JRC facilities through various collaboration agreements.

Role in the Project

Within the consortium, the JRC coordinates the research into the early detection of Xylella fastidiosa symptoms using remote sensing. This research encompasses a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, from the regular measurement of individual leaves in the laboratory, over the monitoring of individual plants throughout a growing season, to the imaging of entire landscapes from aircraft once a year.

Each of these scales have distinct advantages and disadvantages; plants in the laboratory can be subject to experimental infections with Xylella fastidiosa, and measured under controlled conditions. On the downside, they might not represent the variation encountered in real-world conditions. From aircraft, remote sensing can be used to analyze all trees over 1000s of square kilometers, but in considerably less detail than achievable in the laboratory.

While overseeing the multi-scale use of remote sensing within XF-actors, the JRC’s own research focus will lay on airborne remote sensing campaign, deploying hyperspectral imaging sensors to develop methods for the early detection of Xylella fastidiosa symptoms in olive trees over large areas.