Three Polygala myrtifolia plants have been reported positive to the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa in the municipality of El Ejido, Almería province, community of Andalusia. The finding, which occurred in a greenhouse of a nursery, has been officially communicated to the Spanish plant health authorities. Eradication measures and phytosanitary treatments will be performed in the next days.
On April 17, the Regional Government of the Community of Andalusia, Spain, reported the first detection of Xylella fastidiosa in Polygala myrtifolia in mainland Spain in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The finding occurred in the municipality of El Ejido, Almería province, in three asymptomatic polygala plants growing within an insect-proof net greenhouse.
Eradication measures of all plants (>30.000) within the nursery and phytosanitary treatments against insects are planned to be performed in the following days. Traceability of the polygala lots present in the greenhouse and surveys of host plants outside the greenhouse within a 5-km radius have already started.
The sampling that brought this discovery is part of the intensive surveys carried out throughout Spain since 2014.
Samples were analyzed in one of the Official Plant Health Laboratory of the Community of Andalusia “Laboratorio de Producción y Sanidad Vegetal de Almería” following EPPO (2016) Harper and Francis qPCR protocols. The positive results were confirmed by the National Reference Laboratory for Phytopathogenic Bacteria at Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), and then officially communicated to the Ministry of Agriculture in Spain (MAPAMA).