Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy


Francesco Porcelli
Vito N. Savino
Giuliana Loconsole
Annalisa Giampetruzzi
Leonardo Susca
Crescenza Dongiovanni
Gianluca M. Farinola
Angela Punzi

External Personnel


Focusing on Soil, Plant, and Food Sciences, DiSSPA achieved scientific results have been appreciated in international consortia resulting in a recognized leadership. It contributes to research projects with most prominent research laboratories and Institutions based in Europe, Asia, America and Australia. It has also a consolidated experience as coordinator of national and international research programs. The research activity harmonizes basic and applied research to understand and manage plant pest and diseases due to insects and acari, fungi, viruses, viroids and bacteria, providing effective, science-based and sounded advices on their control by chemical, physical, biological and biotechnical means of control usually tuned in IPM strategies. Being quite near the outbreaks and practically the only on-site OQDS plant-protection devoted research group, DiSSPA have the unique opportunity to execute vector control experiments and to check the results in real field condition. It is also component of the laboratory network for the selection, characterization and conservation of germplasm and for preventing the spread of relevant and quarantine pests (SELGE) and own the Laboratorio di Entomologia Forense (LEF), a national laboratory accredited to identify quarantine/alien/invasive/ insect and acari pests.

Role in the Project

Main topics will consist in:
– Vector and candidate IPM strategy study from formulation to field research by repeated field experimental trials. DiSSPA recently has implemented molecular workflow on the diagnosis and characterization of bacteria involved in the Olive Quick Decline Syndrome and improved alien/invasive arthropods identification. DiSSPA in collaboration with the partnership will develop the investigations on control of candidate and vector insect species involved in the OQDS and in Xf transmission.
– Disease risk associated with plant growth conditions, and perspectives for disease control.
The research will focus on effects of temperature on growth and survival of Xf in vitro and in planta. Results will be critical for the development of the different risk assessment modelling approaches.
– Search for alternative crop species to select a list of potential species that can serve as alternative crops in the EU contaminated areas and evaluate the suceptibility to Xf infection.
– Certification of plant propagation material for Xf with the development of specific certification protocols (type and frequency of the diagnostic tests, growing conditions for the different category of materials, facilities to be used, etc) for important plant species or group of species.